Date: July 25-26, 2020
Below are summary notes from our recent Town Hall Meeting
Pre-Meeting Communications Reminders:
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Fr. Mike opened the meeting noting he wants to hear from parishioners. Parishioners were then given the ability to raise concerns, ask questions, etc.
The parish and school finances are okay. Fr. Mike had a simple review done prior to his arrival and is working the parish staff and finance council to complete the fiscal year reports. This fall, a budget will also be presented to the parish. Parishioners should continue to drop their envelopes in baskets in the aisles at each Mass and at the rectory during the week.
Concerns were raised to encourage “school” families to attend Mass.
Viability of the parish and school
There is no talk of any additional consolidation or reconfiguration of the parish or school. Due to the pandemic, the school is trying to finalize their enrollment numbers.
Diocesan and other contractors will and have been through the facility to identify the needs of the physical plant from structural repairs to roofing needs.
Microphone and Sound System
We are aware of the issues with the sound system and are working to improve and possibly replace the existing set-up. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding with the process.
Devotions and Additional Prayer Time
We are examining expanding the availability of pre-Mass prayer time, confessions, devotions, votive candles and more. We have to balance the guidelines provided by the diocese and limitations of facilities. Groups are encouraged with looking at outdoor space with plenty of room to distance. Fr. Mike is looking to restore the daily Mass (probably in the main body of the church) soon as well as a regular confession time.
Missals and Worship Aids
Parishioners asked about worship aid or “cheat sheets” to follow along and help with the prayers at Mass. We are looking to have each family take a missalette to use and bring back and forth to Mass. Parishioners may also bring their own books/worship aids. There are some simple subscription services available and some free smart phone apps (like iBreviary) for use. If a parishioner were to be following along with Mass, it would be permissible to be on a phone during Mass. In addition, Fr. Mike mentioned that eventually, he would be encouraging parishioners to jot down notes from homilies as a reference point during the week to share with others as well. Look for more information in the days/weeks ahead on the parish website.
Speakers, Bible Study, Annulments
There were a few questions about the resumption/creation of bible study and prayer groups. In addition, we would like to bring in guest speakers when appropriate. Once we can achieve the proper level of safety, we will begin examining the possibility. Fr. Mike also gave the example of a deacon he knows coming to present and help people who wish to work through the annulment process.
We are trying to balance safety and social distancing with the votive candles near the shrines. While the caution tape has been removed, we are still looking for a way to create a process to maintain distance and allow parishioners to light candles. Please stay tuned for updates.