Meeting with Pastoral Councils. On Saturday, July 23, I met with the presidents of the three pastoral advisory councils, in preparation for a meeting of all three full groups on Tuesday, August 2. I want to meet everyone, and also give clear communication to them directly. Meeting jointly is not only a practical consideration, given limited time for meetings, it also helps avoid misinformation spreading as a result of meeting with group A one week, group B a week later, and so forth.
Why this priest this week? If you wonder why you’re seeing this or that priest, this or that day or weekend, at this or that church, the short answer is that it was a complicated business putting together a Mass schedule for three locations, four active priests and one retired priest, with a view to visiting everywhere fairly evenly. Already, I see ways it could have been better, but out of consideration for the other priests and the volunteers involved, I’m not going to re-do it. It will all even out eventually.
Will we be cutting Masses like nearby parishes? Not at present, because we have four priests on active duty – Bishop, Howard, Manning and me, plus the help of Father Tom Shearer – so, there is no need right now to change the weekend schedule. However, if anything happens to make any of our priests less able to help out, then we will have to revisit it. One of the things I will be talking to the pastoral advisory councils about is having a plan in place for such an eventuality.
Looking at daily Masses. Father Howard and I, with input from staff members and volunteers, are figuring out a plan to offer Masses at various area nursing, rehabilitation or assisted-living facilities. There are 19 such facilities in our three parishes, and as the restrictions from Covid are being lifted, there is so much need to provide spiritual care. I realize some parishioners might like me to add daily Masses at our three churches, but I want to reach out to these folks first.
More confession times? Your priests get together regularly for companionship and to share ideas, one of which is to see if we can provide more confession times. If you want to send me an email, feel free, my email is below. As our parishes come together, I want to take careful steps, not promise more than I can deliver, and not give only to take away.