I hope this letter finds you well. It has been a roller coaster ride for us these last months and it is my sincere hope that we can return to some semblance of peace in the coming days. I want to thank you for your continued support of our collaborative parishes and your truly inspirational response to the needs of friend, neighbor, and stranger during our long siege.
First, congratulations and thank you to all participants in July's Mission Days. Twenty-eight students completed 393 volunteer hours in just 3 days! “Thank you” to the adult volunteers who supervised and guided the students, made meals, and donated the use of equipment, and especially to Joe Leone who organized the event!
I am writing to you to bring you up to date on a timeline for the coming months. The collaborative staff, the parish council, and finance council have been hard at work and have formulated a broad outline for the coming months. We will keep you informed through the bulletin and the collaborative website. So, let’s begin:
Starting the weekend of September 11th and 12th, we will introduce our fall-winter Mass schedule. It will be as follows: Saturday, 4PM at St. Anthony’s, Sunday, 9AM at St. Mary’s and 10:30AM at St. Anthony’s. We are grateful to be starting our ministries once again. This is a dream I’ve had for 16 months. The St. Anthony’s choir will be back, starting Sunday, September 26th, filling our church with its beautiful voices under the fabulous direction of our very own, Barbara Nole.
The Bazaar Raffle to help St. Anthony’s will take place on Sept. 25th at St. Anthony’s following the 4pm Mass. The tickets will go out later this month. We are also planning a get together after each weekend Mass to say welcome home! (Sept 19th St Mary’s following the 9am Mass and Sept 25/26 following the St. Anthony Masses.) Good food, good friends and a good time -- to celebrate being together.
In October, we are hoping to welcome more families back to Mass. We will be offering a more detailed description of our exciting transformation of faith formation that is family oriented. We will continue to emphasize and talk about ‘making our homes a holy place.’
In November, we will continue to flesh out the faith formation initiative. I will also ask you for your always notable generosity to the Grand Annual for both our parishes. At this time, I will also include the Annual Parish Report from both parishes.
In December, we will emphasize the Advent Season as a church and home-based spiritual renewal preparing for our celebration of the Christmastide. I plan to offer an Advent retreat, both in-person and online.
So much of what we are planning will rely on you and your willingness to support and participate in these initiatives. I, like you, wish to see our churches full again and alive with the Spirit and friendship that is the hallmark of the faith community. God willing, together we make this happen.
In Christ, your Pastor, ever thankful for you,