Friday, June 5, 2015

This Past Year and Beyond

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that I have been here for nearly one year. During my first year, I have taken the opportunity to view the general scope of the parish plant, its operations, and (of course) our parish mission. This allows me to make adjustments and changes where necessary.

Regarding the parish plant, we have paid off the Holy Family Center loan. Now, we are able to look at our parish infrastructure and make sure that our buildings and environment are in good shape. After some studies, we have discovered that a few of our buildings (the parish office, the rectory, and our church building need repairs and/or renovations). Immediate repairs include replacement of cast iron pipes for sewage under the rectory and the parish offices and replacement of doors and jams in the church. In the future, a full renovation of the rectory (our oldest building on the property), pew and tile restorations in the church, and a more durable patio structure just outside of the church will be addressed.

Finally, we have contracted with Sullivan Energy to create a Solar Panel system on our property to save the school and parish over $15,000 in monthly electric bills. Plans are also underway to change our church lighting system for better-cost savings.

In addition to our physical plant needs, we are also ready to address the general mission of our parish. If you recall, over two months ago, I asked you to give your review or perception of our parish, particularly as it carries on the mission of Christ here in Poway. Your responses to the review were very helpful to our 5 Year Plan Committee. After calculating your reviews, we have determined that the following areas are in need of attention:

1. Youth and Young Adults: Your reviews confirmed our committee’s perception that the youth and young adult ministries could be more effective. To this end, we are implementing plans for a comprehensive youth and young adult program that will include more targeted adolescent outreach, high school outreach, a stronger Confirmation program, a "bridge program" for Juniors and Seniors, and a strong Young Adult program.

2. Marriage Preparation and Marriage and Family Life: High on the list of your feedback was the Sacrament of Marriage and other family life issues. A new team, lead by Deacon John and Alice Beas are rolling up their sleeves to meet these needs head-on.

3. Seniors and Widows/Widowers: We will be revamping our outreach to the seniors of our parish community who make up a large part of our parish.

4. Evangelization: It was agreed, based on your views, that our parish needs to have a more effective evangelization program - particularly to our fallen away Catholics. In order to evangelize effectively, we have begun a parish census to see who is in our parish. If you are registered, you will have received a census form. Your reply to the census will give us great feedback as we address our evangelization efforts.

Other issues surfaced from your survey responses, but these were the issues in most need of attention. I thank you for your responses and please be assured that they are already giving us great information as we continue to carry on the mission entrusted to us.

God Bless!

Father John

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

St. Michael's News Connection • Week of May 24th

Through the Grace of the Trinity

As I began reflecting on this upcoming Sunday’s Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, words that Bishop McElroy spoke at his installation came to mind.  He spoke of “the grace of mutual accompaniment.” In my mind, the Holy Trinity appears to be a perfect reflection of the grace of mutual accompaniment.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, though distinct are one – united in love, eternally.

We are all challenged and called to unite as one body. We are called to love one another as the Father has loved us.   We are called to walk with one another as Jesus walked with us, and to break with one   another the Bread of Eternal Life.  We are commissioned to do so with the fire of the Spirit.  And it is in the everyday practical applications of accompanying one another that we are most challenged.

Walking with one another requires effort and sacrifice, particularly in living out the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy. But then, the effort and sacrifice can bring us to a greater good. Walking with one another as companions on a journey of faith will lead us to the truth and joy of the Gospel by the grace of, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

-Jim Gase