We had our second Mass count weekend, and I was disappointed to see that in both weeks we dropped below the last three years. Remember that in 2013 our average was 800, in 2014 it was 960, and last year it came in at 900. This year we averaged 735 each Sunday. That is cause for concern. I will be bringing this to the attention of the Pastoral Council to get their input. In general, here is what is happening. The Saturday vigil has been dropping in attendance since 2013, we are down about 20 to 25 people. This is an older population, and sadly people have been dying and moving away. The 8 AM on Sunday is steady at about 90 people per week, although in 2014 our average was 100. When we look at 9:15, this year the average was 245 which is down from a high of 270 in 2013. The 11 AM averaged 100 this year and so showed a significant drop from past years when it averaged about 125 a Sunday, but the biggest challenge is the 6 PM. This year we averaged 184 at this Mass, whereas in the last two years we averaged about 280 people. This trend is present throughout the diocese, but needs to be turned around if we are to stay viable pastorally and financially.
Don’t forget November 1st and 2nd, All Saints and All Souls, are times for us to remember our deep connection to all those who have gone before us, both the saints and the great majority who did their best to walk in the company of the children of God, all of us Baptized into the Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. On Wednesday, November 2nd, the Feast of All Souls, we will have a special liturgy at 7 PM that night to remember all our beloved dead, but especially those who have died in the past year. If you have a loved one who was not buried from our Church this past year, place his or her name on the list at the Church entrance and we will pray for your loved one at that Mass. Anyone buried from our Church will automatically be remembered.
Finally, our thanks to all those who made donations to Education and Hope and the work of Julie Coyne in Guatemala. The parish itself made a gift of $4500 and parishioners and visitors brought the total gift to over $23,000 and still climbing. Thank you all for supporting this good work.