Parish Vitality

October Pastor’s Report

We had another successful Parish Festival on September 10th and finished a little ahead of last year with regard to fundraising. We are so very grateful for the effort and work of the many volunteers and leaders of the Festival Committee to bring about this community building event and the food was outstanding as usual. Unfortunately, I was suffering with a migraine headache throughout much of the day and was not as involved as I would have like to have been (too much excitement I guess).

October is an exciting month as we welcome our new Archbishop Thomas Zinkula on October 18th as our new shepherd. Our prayers and support are with him as he carries on the good work of his predecessors. Having one of our own installed is a really special and a joyous occasion and we certainly do give thanks to God for blessing us with such a humble yet very wise leader.

We wish to welcome as well, seminarian Liam Dale to our parish community. Liam has been assigned to our parish for continued formation during this school year as a part of St. Pius X seminary program. Liam is a senior at Loras college and is a seminarian for the Diocese of Des Moines. He will only be with us a few hours a week and will be working mostly with Raegan (assisting us with some of parish events and liturgies). We are grateful to have Liam join our parish family during this school year and offer him our support and prayers.  

We also were blessed to welcome five new families to our parish these past few weeks and look forward to their being a part of our parish family and their participation at Mass. I am hoping to have a few more register in the coming weeks.

Our Faith Formation program has gotten off to a good start. Our Religious Education Students of the combined Holy Spirit, Cathedral, and St. Patrick program began the school year with a “Teaching Mass” for the students and their parents. Additionally we had 16 students attend our Sacramental Prep program for 1st Reconciliation and 1st Communion. (Our Confirmation program will begin after the 1st of the year.) This year we are also offering a combined youth ministry program with Cathedral, St. Patrick, and Resurrection (offered at the Resurrection church site). Hopefully, this will help fill the void we downtown parishes have been missing these past few years with our youth ministry.  And finally, it is with God’s grace that this year we have twelve candidates in our R.C.I.A program who will receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist, and/or Confirmation at the Feast of Christ the King on Nov 26th, and we have an additional five catechumens who are in a separate R.C.I.A program who will be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. In the past we have had only one or two candidates/catechumens in the program, and so this year we are truly grateful to be blessed with so many.

Our Fall Faith Formation programs have gotten off to a good start. There has been good attendance at our Monday night “Popcorn Faith Formation” with viewing and discussion on the series Chosen. Likewise, we have had good turnouts for both the That Man Is You and Woman of Worth programs. We are still working on more opportunities for faith enrichment for the month of November and during our Advent and Christmas Seasons.

Committee Highlight Recaps:

Parish Life: “Trunk or Treat” event will take place after 6:30 pm Mass on Nov. 1st. “Card Ministry” program to include 1st and 5th year anniversary cards. Also we looking at possibly holding a New Parishioner gathering event sometime in Nov. The Pictorial Directory is still in the works (photos have been submitted). We will be offering service opportunities through the IGNITE Program which will be offered during Lent in 2024.

Evangelization: Our review of Dr. Sri’s program is almost complete and we will begin working on the next steps of our program which involves 1) providing information to parishioners, 2) giving witness (sharing our faith), and 3) meeting those we encounter where they are at with regard to level of faith and belief. Additionally, we will be offering the College and Military care packages which will be sent out in October

Liturgy: Dcn. Dave Roth will be stepping down as Dir of Liturgy and doing the ministry scheduling.  Fr. Jeff will assume those responsibilities moving forward. The commissioning of EMs will take place after the weekend Masses on October 15th and 16th and Altar Server training to begin soon and will be ongoing. The upcoming liturgy preparations include the following--All Saints Day (Nov. 1st) and All Soul’s Day “Mass of Remembrance” (Nov. 2). Advent and Christmas decorations.

Social Justice: 2nd on the 2nd Committee is working to implement this new program in the coming months. 2nd on the 2ndinvolves not only a second collection on the second Sunday of each month (with some exceptions) in support of selected charities and organizations but also providing education and volunteer opportunities for some of these selected organizations.

We are continuing to work on and fulfill our parish vitality goals which are as follows:

  • Service to others (which our 2nd on the 2nd program and summer Religious Education program addresses)
  • Sense of Belonging (which includes programs through our Parish Life Committee like our Pictorial Directory, Card Program, and IGNITE program which will we will run again in the beginning of Lent next year. Additionally, will be engaged in outreach programs for our Marshallese and Filipino communities).
  • The Mass—here we are going to put a big push on ministry involvement and training, as well as include Liturgy tidbit informational inserts in the bulletin. Additionally we will be offering a teaching Mass presentation and faith enrichment sessions on the Mass and the Eucharist.

On a sad note, we wish our parish secretary Judy Hoffmann and parish bookkeeper Jane Walker farewell as both have retired recently. We are grateful for their many years of dedication, hard work and great service to our parish. We wish them all the best as they enjoy their much-deserved retirement. That being said we wish to welcome Mathew Drake and Lisa Hoftender to our parish staff. Matthew will take over the bookkeeping, payroll and human resource areas of the parish, and Lisa will be taking over some of the secretary responsibilities and parish bulletin (on a part time basis). We are still looking for a full-time/part-time person to assist with all the other the secretary duties.   

Overall, there are a lot things happening this month in our parish—and I again want to thank all of you for helping to make that happen. Know of my prayers for you and ask that you continue to pray for me. May we continue to build up God’s kingdom on earth so that we can build up His kingdom in heaven.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Steve

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