The school year is under way, the days are getting shorter, and the football season has returned. Ah, Fall! We at St. Anthony’s have also been busy trying to gear up in order to offer old and new opportunities to grow in our faith.
Construction is nearly completed in St. Anthony House. Three walls have come down, plumbing has been rerouted, dry rot damage has been repaired, the walls have been painted, and new carpets have been installed. All of this has been done in order to offer larger and more inviting spaces for gatherings.
We also have many events planned. Just this month we have the 5th Annual Mexican Dinner, our first ever Rummage Sale, our very popular Fall Bazaar, and our annual Parish Picnic. I hope you can make it to these events.
Discernment continues with regard to ways to offer new and compelling adult educational opportunities. Our religious education for our children, now called G.I.F.T. (Growing In Faith Time), is getting organized. We also have many people of various ages who are investigating Catholicism through our RCIA. Youth ministry is concluding CSI (Catholic Scripture Investigation) and now preparing for their first youth group night.
NEW LITRUGY SCHEDULE:
Most obvious, we are changing our liturgy schedule which will be effective Sept. 25th. This change was made after much reflection and prayer by the Pastoral Council, discussions with the Administrative Council, several listening sessions with parishioners, and a survey conducted at Mass. This new schedule creates an evening Mass on Sunday evening with a focus on teens, though families and people of all ages are welcome. If you haven’t made it to the Life Teen Mass, please do so. We’ve been hard at work in order to keep the length more conducive to our common expected length and we’ve added more explanations for the variations that happen during that celebration. Finally, the music group and the teen involvement continues to develop. So, please make an effort to come.
LIFE TEEN MASS:
In order to accommodate the Life Teen Mass in the Sunday Evening slot, one of the morning Masses had to be moved. Caution has been voiced about overcrowding at the morning slot, but data gathered from two year’s worth of attendance counts indicates that we should be able to seat everyone. Rarely have we used the balcony in our recent history. But, with this new schedule, we expect the need to dust off the pews in the balcony and let the additional people get a more bird’s eye view of Mass. During Christmas and Easter we will need to have special schedules. These will likely return us to our previous schedule which will add an additional Mass in the morning to handle the larger numbers of people.
COFFEE & DONUTS:
Plans are still underway to look harder at the time after our 9:30 am Mass and rethink our common “Coffee and Donuts.” This means that we may be offering other food items to encourage more people as well as the possibility of hosting occasional breakfasts. Opportunities for adult education and/or guest speakers may also sprinkle those gatherings. Bottom line: We need to gather more as community and build our relationships as well as make new ones.
So, things are a-happinin'! Changes are afoot. We are all looking forward to a dynamic year of exploration, education, and deepening in our Catholic faith. Get involved and be a part of an exciting year!
Fr. William Holtzinger