Today we celebrate the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, or All Souls Day. The parish Worship Commission suggested that this year we incorporate the “Remembrance of the Dead” ritual as part of the Introductory Rites. Thus, we are remembering parishioners from our three merged parishes along with those from Saint John Paul II Parish who died since last November. During the Entrance Procession, candles will be carried forward by family members, friends and fellow parishioners of those who have died. Following the Greeting and Introduction, their names will be read and the candles will be placed near the baptismal font in memory of them. Those candles will be lit at each Mass we celebrate during the month of November (until Advent begins). There will also be a Book of Remembrance on a lectern near the baptismal font, so that anyone who wishes may enter the names of their loved ones for whom we will pray throughout the month of November, the month during which the Church traditionally prays for all who have gone before us in faith. Eternal rest grant unto our beloved dead, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
This past Tuesday Pastoral Council had their monthly meeting. They had a full agenda. Among the items on the agenda were: reviewing the minutes of the September Finance Council Meeting and the September Worship Commission Meeting, looking at October Count, talking about expectations regarding the upcoming Holy Hour with Bishop Cistone, discussing parish activities and parish organizations, and giving initial approval to the Pastoral Council’s clarification on What it means to be a Parishioner in Good Standing. The diocesan Protocols and Guidelines for Liturgical Ministers (which refer to parishioners in good standing for each of the ministries) along with the expectations of the Pastoral Council that anyone elected to leadership on a Commission or a parish organization must be a parishioner in good standing prompted a series of discussions and ultimately an official statement from the Pastoral Council defining in detail what that means for parishioners of Saint John Paul II Parish. It will be published in the Pastoral Council Minutes which will be posted in Church and also in an upcoming parish bulletin.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to Chris Titsworth and all who helped with the Fall Craft Show and Bazaar. Special thanks to those who provided goodies for the bake sale, those who helped out with the Mexican lunch and the pop sale, those who coordinated the selling of the raffle tickets and the two different drawings, those who bought raffle tickets, those involved in set-up and clean up, those who worked behind the scenes and on the scene, all those crafters and vendors who displayed their art and workmanship, and all those who stopped by to shop and/or eat that day. The reviews that came my way were great. Thanks for working so well together to make the Fall Craft Show and Bazaar a huge success. Please note the financial summary in today’s bulletin.
Thus far, we have had two gatherings of Liturgical Ministers (Servers and Sacristans, and Ministers of Hospitality). Just from those two meetings and the challenges faced by those doing the liturgical minister schedule, it is evident that we still need more altar servers (especially for Saturday) and more Ministers of Hospitality. If you are willing to serve in either of these ministries, please let Joe Magalski, Alex (at the Parish Office), or Sister Chris know. We are already working on the December schedule and continue to update ministry lists. The next ministry I would like to meet with is that of Lectors. I have scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, November 12 at 6:30 PM in Church. At the conclusion of that gathering, new lector workbooks will be distributed.
Last week, I listed a number of projects that have been addressed regarding the Church. I would like to mention a few more 1) We have been looking into purchasing a sink with counter/cabinet appropriate for the work sacristy which would accommodate the washing of the vessels after Mass. 2) We are looking into the possibility of a small monitor speaker and amplifier for the sanctuary particularly for the Priest Presider and the altar servers (since they are behind the speakers and don’t really hear well in that area of the Church). 3) A few months ago, the Finance Council began researching possibilities for a new sign in front of the Church, which may also necessitate the cutting down of the tree for visibility sake (the desire to have a sign that would be readable on both sides, with traffic approaching from both directions). This has been a slow process. 4) The other slow, but not forgotten, process is related to the creation of a new barrier free/handicap restroom. We are still trying to locate blueprints with plumbing and electrical specs for the vesting sacristy (and hall leading to that sacristy) in order to save money due to having an architect drawing these from scratch along with collaboration from a plumber and an electrician. Since I wrote last week, the panic bars on the side doors of Church have been installed and the Church has new locks (per diocesan policy with the creation of a new parish – which should have been done July 1st). Also, the copy machine was delivered this past Tuesday and we have begun using it. The November Worship Aid was run on our new machine. I will continue to keep you posted regarding our parish projects.
On Saturday, November 22, you are invited to join us for a parish potluck Thanksgiving Dinner at 5:30 PM in the gym at the Ed Center. Sign-up sheets will be at each of the Church entrances. Please see next week’s bulletin for a flyer with further information. Presently, we are looking for individuals willing to bake or donate a turkey along with anyone who wishes to work at the dinner.
I have no reflection on the Gospel prepared for this week. However, I would like to offer the lines that struck me most.
This weekend let us allow the liturgy and Scripture Readings to speak for themselves and find a home in our hearts. As we remember our beloved dead and proclaim the Mystery of our Faith, let us reflect upon the ways in which the Paschal Mystery touches our lives and gives us hope.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ