July 3, 2010 – Odds ‘n Ends

Welcome to a holiday weekend edition of the blog.  I thought all week about doing a blog before the weekend rolled around, but my usual procrastinating self waited until today.  Why waste a perfectly good weeknight when there is baseball to be watched, right?  Of course the way the Cardinals have been playing lately, my time may be better served in church-related activities.  Anyway, it feels like one of those times to just touch on a few things that have been rolling around in my mind.

So what constitutes a true moment of bliss?  Hopping into a new car for the first time and getting a whiff of that new car smell?  Stepping out of the door in the morning and feeling a cool breeze?  Getting a really sweet orange from the grocery store (trust me, it doesn’t happen that often).  Well last week I experienced a true moment of bliss – when my doctor walked in to the exam room and uttered these words – “I have absolutely nothing but good news for you today!”  BLISS!  I’m happy to report that all of my recent bloodwork was fine, blood pressure was fine, and I’m down 36 lbs. in 9 months.  I have learned a lot of life lessons over the last year, and one of them certainly is that good health should never be taken for granted, and that our bodies should be treated as a gift from God.  I still have some problems with headaches, but not as severe as before.  Thanks again for all of your prayers and expressions of concern.

So what is a typical summer project?  Working on the house, cleaning up the yard, waxing the cars?  Well, for a Catholic Church webmaster, it is going through an online seminar on Catholic Church websites.  I haven’t gone through the whole thing yet, but I wanted to share a few statistics with you from a study done by Princeton University last year:

– 74% of all adults use the internet (this includes adults of all ages and races)

– 60% of all adults have a high-speed internet connection at home

– 70% of adults in rural areas go online

When I first started our website, I wondered whether anyone would use it, and whether it would be worth the effort.  But part of ministry is to reach people where they are, and as you can see more and more people are on the internet, and a church website is becoming not just a luxury, but an essential tool.  We’ll see what sort of new ideas I come up with when I finish the course (hold on to your laptops!).  And of course as always, your suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Our prayers go out to those priests who will be moving on to new assignments this month.  We especially pray for those newly ordained and for Fr. Ben Stern, who will be assuming the administration of one of our cluster parishes – St. Boniface in Evansville.  I guess we’re still stuck with Fr. Gene (ha, ha).  You always tease the ones you love.

Back to the website, I touched on it in my last blog and since then I have put some references on the homepage of the website about the newly revised version of the Roman Missal, which will result in many changes in the way we resopnd during Mass.  On the website you can link to the USCCB website, to Bishop Braxton’s letter concerning this, and also to a summary of the changes that will be taking place.  This will require us to change habits that we have had for years and will require catechesis on the part of the parish staff.  One of the slogans for this revision is “a deeper meaning, but the same Mass”.  I have come up with a few slogans of my own for this change:

“The revised Roman Missal -as if priests weren’t busy enough!”

“Hang on to your missalettes for dear life!”

“The new Roman Missal – we needed more committees anyway.”

“Let’s just switch back to Latin and get it over with!”

Seriously, you’ll be getting much more information as time goes on.

Our Vacation Bible School begins on July 12.  Please pray for its success.  Thank you so much to Cheryl Gross who puts in so much time and effort to organize this, and to the many wonderful volunteers who take time out of their summer activities for this.  God Bless you all.

Finally, I wish you a happy and safe 4th of July weekend.  Let us all take time this weekend to thank God for how fortunate we are to live in a land of freedom, and also of course we keep in mind our military men and women who preserve that freedom for us.  I take for granted that I can sit here and type whatever I feel like without having to fear any consequences, a privilege that many in this world do not enjoy.  I am fortunate indeed.

Thanks again for reading.  Peace.

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