January 3, 2009 – Plans for ’09

Welcome to the first blog of 2009.  I hope you had a good New Year’s holiday.  Now the challenging part comes for me – how long will I continue to write ’08 on my checks and paperwork?  If past history is any guide, I would say it will probably be about mid-February.

My last few enteries to the blog were pretty easy because the holiday season gives me a lot of material to draw off of.  Now I have to put my thinking cap on again and come up with some original material.  Hmmmm…..

Well, one thing I noticed over the past week is that the website got more traffic than it has for some time.  I have been happy to hear that besides our own parishioners logging on to it, that some out-of towners have found it as well.  Fr. Gene remarked that an out-of-town funeral director had logged on before he contacted our parish.  Also, I now have relatives out of town who are taking a peek at it.  That was one of my hopes when we launched www.maryhoc.org, that not only would our parishioners use it, but also those who were former members of our parish now out of town, or those away at school, etc. could log on and read the bulletin and keep up with the happenings. 

I have also started to think about what we could do with the website in ’09.  Right now in my religion class we are on the subject of “Being Catholic”, and tomorrow one of our activities will be to talk about some of the leadership roles in the church – not just leaders such as the Pope, Bishops, and Pastors, but also the leadership provided by lay people as well such as directors of religious education, parish councils, various committees, etc.  We have many functioning committees in our parish who put in a lot of time to make sure our parish runs smoothly.  However, I would venture to guess that some folks are not aware of some of these committees or may not be sure what their functions are.  So one thing I would like to post on the web is a listing of these committees as well as a description of what their functions are.

Also, I know that I have mentioned this before, but I would like to do some more work on the links page of our website.  As you can imagine, there continues to be more and more websites popping up that are Catholic-related, and so I would like to categorize these better on our page.  I’m sure there are some websites out there also that I have not come across, so if you see one you like, let me know and I can include a link to it.

There will be many other things coming down the pike as well that I’m sure will be included on our website as well, including the dinner/auction which is less than 3 months away, our parish mission which is still in the initial planning stages but will hopefully occur in the last week of September, and other things that will arrive in the meantime.  Keep checking back often, and as always, you suggestions are welcomed.

I want to offer my congratulations and appreciation to Fr. Gene who is marking his 35th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on January 5.  As we can only imagine, the priesthood is a vocation that has many challenges, and to have embraced those challenges for 35 years is quite a feat.  We have been blessed as a parish to have had dedicated, caring men as our pastors, and Fr. Gene is certainly no exception.  I hope you can join us on Sunday, January 11 at 12:00PM for the potluck dinner we are holding in celebration of this milestone.  It will be a simple affair – just a means for us to come together to enjoy each other’s company and to offer our congratulations.

Finally, this weekend we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.  As we remember the wise men who came bearing gifts to the newborn Jesus, we also remember the gifts that the Lord has bestowed on us.  May we use these gifts for the cause of justice in 2009.

Peace.

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