You will be reading this on the fifth Sunday of Lent. Do you know how fast time is racing? Scary! Fr. Joe’s retirement party is almost upon us. If you have any pictures of him please lend them to us for a slide show that Greg Battersby has offered to do and keep looking at the bulle- tin for details.
Those of you who attend the 8AM Sunday Mass, have gotten to be a part of R.C.I.A. this year as three men prepare for Baptism and another for reception into the Church. I have greatly enjoyed working with them and the team. It reinforces my belief that when done properly, R.C.I.A. is a great model for how to deepen faith in adults.
As you know the Diocese is in the process of doing serious Pastoral Planning starting this weekend and next. We have already gotten our statistical report from the Diocese, plotting our last three year trajectory. Our income is greater than our expenses, and both baptisms and deaths have been increasing. First Communion and Confirmations, as well as the number of children in religious education, has been dropping. We are more or less holding our own in weekly Mass attendance. As a parish, we need to work on turning our negative numbers around.
So, R.C.I. A. does provide a model. What has worked this year is both that the group has bonded, and that we included many more prayer experiences.
Our model also uses the Sunday Gospel as the focus for learning. We have a small but excel- lent team, and we have seen real progress in faith formation for all the participants.
I look forward to getting our parish survey results. They will also play a large role in pastoral planning. My thanks to the 396 people who filled out the survey. By the way, our pastoral planning team includes: Fr. Rojin, Missy Ely, Dan Loch, Kathy Coyne, Joe O’Callaghan, Jr. and myself. We will keep you posted.