Pastor's Corner Oct 21 2018

Annual Financial Report: This will be published next week in the bulletin. In addition, we will be resurrecting an old custom of having a member of the Finance Council give a verbal report at the end of each Mass next week. Mr. Tony Douglas will make this report and discuss the needs of the parish and how we need to address them. In the meantime, please allow me to offend everyone…

A Welcoming Community: To welcome someone else, let's remind ourselves, is to take care of their needs before our own. If anyone asks for help, we may enthusiastically jump to it; but this does not qualify as welcoming. For, the first need of a newcomer is alleviating fear of the unknown. To meet that need, we must initiate the interaction, no? Take a risk; initiate a kind word; this alone is half the battle won. Let not shyness win the day!

Parents with Children: You are welcome in my church. You are living the pro-life message. You have sacrificed your lives for your children. In addition, your attendance at Mass requires great effort; this will be recognized. On behalf of the whole parish, I wish to express our gratitude for the blessings you are bringing to all. Your children are our future. Thank you! These blessings are so great, I am willing to put up with a little noise during Mass, without comment. But, not everyone shares my patience. The common good of the parish is important; I ask you to be aware of those who are more sensitive to noise.

People without Children: You are welcome in my church. Your effort to come to Mass is also recognized and appreciated. You could go anywhere to worship, but you choose to come here. You choose our liturgy because in it, you find God. The noise and perpetual motion of children can be somewhat shocking. Please find in the children another image of God, "for such is the kingdom of God." After all, the saints are asked to make noise: "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: break forth and sing for joy, yea, sing praises," (Ps.98:4). Thank you for your patience, and contributions to the common good of the parish.

Distractions at Mass: If the Church was perfectly silent, would we be free from distractions? Half. Internal distractions would still come from our incessant thoughts. A Carmelite commentary on prayer has this suggestion: "What then to do about [internal] distractions? Accept them. Don't welcome them, but accept them, and turn back to the conversation. Think about a conversation on your front porch on a fine spring say as your children are running on the lawn and playing. If your children are normal they are up on that porch at least as much as they are kicking a ball … However, it is a fine day, your friend, as much as you, enjoys the sounds and sights and presence of the children, and when they break into the conversation, He doesn't regard them with exasperation, but with a loving, doting look … When the concerns of the children are finished, the matter of a moment or two, we return to the conversation. That is the important point—we may be dragged off-course, but always return, gently, lovingly, longingly, to the conversation. … So my advice for those distracted in prayer—don't focus on the distraction, focus on the person with Whom you are conversing. … Through her entire life, St. Teresa of Avila was plagued with distraction, and yet she is no less a saint for all of that." (Jesus Christ in Carmelite Prayer by Sr. Mary Dorgan, taken from: ocarm.org.)

Extra-Reasons-to-Cry Room: The climate control system in the cry room (including the vestibule and hallway) has been broken for a while. After investigating 4 companies, we are now scheduled to begin the repair in a few weeks' time. My apologies for this situation and thank you for your patience.

Parking Lot: We have now engaged some companies to improve our parking lot with its connected systems (curbing, drainage, water, electric). You may have noticed the front section along Buford Rd looking beautifully sealed and striped. That's a glimpse of our future, God willing. The rest of the job is more complicated. Starting the 2nd week of November, things are going to get worse before they get better. Your contributions to the Capital Improvement Fund make these possible.

As always, thank you for your support.

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