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Presentation Parish Family Series

My Dear Parish Family,

It is 40 days since Christmas! Today, the Feast of the Presentation, Joseph and Mary - after her time of purification - present baby Jesus in the Temple. And those Christmas-loving diehards finally put their decorations away. Rather than a spiritual message, this week I communicate some “nuts and bolts” of parish life.

Last week in the bulletin, we discussed the strength and future of our parish family, and in part, how it can be undermined with rumors. Building on that reality, I want to share with you some of the “new” that you may not be aware of.

Over the past several months two new parish teams or committees have emerged: the Pastoral Council and Buildings & Grounds. Years ago - so I am told - we had both of these necessary groups, but in the recent past they ceased to exist.

Pastoral Council: In October a newly forming parish pastoral council met for the first time. We meet monthly on the first Tuesday. At this point, six dedicated parishioners and I make up the team: Rosemary Acker, Tom Asher, Donna Marie Clancy, Mike Garofalo, Dawn Morning, Coni Tartaglia, and me. A pastoral council assists the pastor to create and enact a vision for our parish family. They can be tasked by the pastor to research certain topics and offer counsel. They help the pastor see the needs and dreams of the parish and help him communicate and spread the vision. Team members participate for 2-4 years. It is not a forever commitment! In the fall, we will be looking for a few more members to join the team.

Over these months, we have been busy. We are putting together bylaws for the council. We are reading Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter, perfect title for our first task. In the month of January, the team visited different parishes in the area to see how they do things, to learn from our neighbors. In the coming weeks, we will be introducing each of the members to you here in the bulletin and on the website.

Buildings and Grounds: In December, a newly forming B&G team met for the first time. With me and Jerry Parria our Facilities Manager, Jim Berg, Jim Fleming, Ron Mikulski and Chuck Thompson, make up the group. We are charged with assessing our buildings, organizing a repair and preventive maintenance list, and determining the best use for our spaces. I am deeply indebted to these men on whose expertise I shall rely. Given the age of our buildings, and our lack of planning for maintenance, our B&G committee is key to our future success. Many of your are skilled in the trades, one of the riches of our  parish life! We will have a volunteer form in the bulletin so that we can ask for help in an organized way. A Spring Cleaning Day is already in the works!

In my homily last week, I mentioned the need for a new team dedicated to Community Building and Outreach. This group does not yet exist, but we need it. We need folks who want to help us build up our community life, knit us together, help us to get to know each other better, and to reach out to the many parishioners in our family who have become inactive. For now, I am calling it LEAVEN - but we can decide on a name later. These women and men will be “a light to their neighbor’s feet” as Catherine Doherty beautifully said - illuminating this little corner of the world with the light of Christ. Our first meeting will be: Wednesday, February 19th at 7pm in Nolan Hall.

Anyone in our parish family who would like to be involved in this new group is welcome to attend. If you are interested but cannot make the meeting, please email me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

These are 3 new groups forming or formed this year! (That’s a lot of new.) Please participate in this newness and pray for its fruitfulness. That we may bring forth the Kingdom of Heaven in this little corner of the world!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Joel R. Wilson