SO MUCH TO FILL YOU IN ON!: We had our first parish pastoral council (PPC) meeting a week and a half ago. All three parishes in the cluster gathered for prayer, a meal, and to discuss the year ahead. There was a very honest and healthy discussion. Understandably, there is some fear, especially from those who are not used to being clustered. With wonderful open dialogue, we were able to come to some agreement: “Business as usual” can’t happen. Otherwise, we will die. Therefore, we are facing facts and moving forward so we can grow, and move to where the Holy Spirit is leading.
I have been here a year now as your pastor, and with the information gathered from the two cluster retreats and from the feedback you have given from your suggestions via the “What more can your parish do for you…” questionnaires (on the website), the parish councils and I now have clearer vision. For me, communication is number one.
The way that we have organized our year ahead will ensure that information is shared by/to all. All organizations in our parish will share their info at joint commission meetings. In other words, the Worship, Education, Christian Service, etc. commissions from all three parishes will gather monthly together. We will share in formation, then we will break up into our Cluster Worship commissions, Education commissions, etc. to support each other and find out what is happening in the other parishes. Finally, those commissions will break up into the O.L. of the Rosary Worship commission, St. Moses Worship commission, etc. They will then send their minutes to the PPC Chairperson. The members of the three PPC’s will then have an opportunity to read what was discussed before the PPC meetings. The plan is that each PPC will be meeting once a month separately in each cluster parish. PPC minutes will be made available so all in the parish/cluster can be informed. Change is difficult, so we need your support and prayer!
UPDATE ON FACILITIES: With the recent heavy rains, we were walloped. Fr. Patrick and my basement flooded where we live. Both of the lower level halls at St. Moses and the Cathedral flooded. Norbert said O.L. of the Rosary fared pretty well. With the high humidity in the building at St. Moses, the carpet it the church is all rippled and is a trip hazard. Not only are we getting all of that cleaned up, but our business manager Brian is getting quotes about replacing the carpet at both sites (possibly with more durable carpet tile). The roof at both St. Moses and at the Cathedral (Chapel and rectory) failed. We are getting quotes on that too. I am trying to pull in a favor from a friend to repair St. Moses at no cost (pray that it pans out). There is a compromised roof and other issues with the Cathedral gym (asbestos, heating, mold, etc.). We have gotten quotes on the cost to repair them and bring it up to code (close to a million dollars). Since we do not have funds and I want to make sure that those who use this space are safe, the consultors (finance folks with the AOD) are putting us on their agenda.
The lights at the Cathedral have gone amok (both inside and out). We have reprogrammed the parking lot lights to go on at the proper time (so no dark night treks to your car) and we are trying to get insurance to cover the cost of the interior lights. I am asking around to see if there are any folks interested in renting the convent and/or the rectory at Rosary. Why not get some income? At St. Moses, the rectory has been organized (thanks to our beautification team). We are doing an inventory of storage needs for various groups and what the neighborhood outreach wants/needs to improve their ministry. The statues at the St. Moses shrine which were damaged will be repaired at no cost to us (thanks to insurance) and we will address vandalism issues at PPC. The space between the school and the rectory at St. Moses will be cleaned up soon, i.e. garage door falling off, garbage, etc. Our maintenance has it on their schedule to complete before winter. The vacant school is still getting marketed (in fact someone is looking at it this weekend-PRAY!). All of these things will be reviewed and discussed by the various PPC’s. We will let you know about any decisions.