October 21, 2018

Clergy sex-abuse:  Where do we go from here? For anyone who has been hurt by a priest directly or indirectly, I apologize and offer support for your healing. However, for anyone who has experienced abuse in the Church or elsewhere, the most important desire is to prevent abuse to any child in the future. The Church in the United States took definite action in 2002 to prevent any abuser from serving in ministry. Hopefully, the Bishops will take the next step to hold Bishops who fail to take action against abusers.

 

The Church also wants to make a difference outside its own walls. Many see VIRTUS and Safe Environment programs as a box that needs to be check off. However, the hope is VIRTUS will make all children safer. We want every parent to be aware of grooming behaviors and empower every child to talk to adults that can protect them. The Church wants to have a bigger impact on our society. So everyone who has had VIRTUS should be on the alert to grooming behavior and be willing to listen to children they know. Hopefully the knowledge gained through VIRTUS can prevent abuse far beyond the walls of the Church. Our challenge is to bring something good out of this terrible past sin.

 

Adult Nursery Workers Wanted (Over 18):  We need adults who are good with children and at least 18 years old. They will need to attend a VIRTUS session and pass a background check. This job is part time and mostly in the evenings and on weekends. We will offer more hours to each worker than in the past as I expect to have a smaller pool of Kidville workers. So this job might work well for college students or any other adults who want to make a little extra money in the evenings. Please apply in the parish office. We are transitioning to have 2 adults in Kidville when it is open at the request of the diocese.

March 13, 2016

We welcome the 16 candidates who are joining the Church and receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Communion this weekend. We are blessed by your presence within our community. More Candidates will be joining at the Holy Saturday Night Vigil as well as several baptisms that night.

Palm Sunday is next weekend, March 19-20. We will begin Mass in the Gathering Space and process in to the Worship Space together.

Holy Week Services are Holy Thursday, March 24th at 7:00 PM; Good Friday Liturgy at 7:00 PM; and the Holy Saturday Vigil at 8:00 PM. The Easter Sunday Masses will be at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00 AM. There will be no 5:00 Saturday Mass and no confessions on Saturday. There also will be Stations of the Cross on Friday at 3:00 PM.

Good Wine ministry is this Thursday, March 17th at 11:00 AM and will focus on a Gospel based way of approaching and praying with the Passion of Jesus Christ.

The 2016 Annual Fund:  Youth will be calling today if you have not returned a pledge card. Please be kind to the callers. Once again, thank you for your generous support which allows us to accomplish these important projects. Please return your pledge cards today.

I got a bid for a polished concrete floor for the Ville. The bid was no more than the existing stained concrete and the hope is it will last longer. If you know something about the durability and upkeep of polished concrete floors, please give me a call. I would appreciate learning from your knowledge and experience. 

Our last LIFE Event for the year is Sunday, April 3rd or Wednesday April, 6th. We will focus on Pope Francis’ first major Encyclical, Laudato Si—On Care for our Common Home. Pope Francis challenges us to care for the poor and to care for creation. Or as Pope Francis says, “Love God, Love Neighbor, Love Creation.” Sign up now because LIFE will be the week after Easter.

March 6, 2016

Our Lenten Reconciliation Service is this Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 PM.We will have several priests here for confessions. Take advantage of this opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness. Be healed by God’s mercy and love.

Daily Mass is now each Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM.We plan to continue this Wednesday evening Mass after Lent is over because of the remarkable response. We have had 60+ people these first couple of weeks and have moved to the Worship Space to accommodate everyone.

Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM.

We have begun plans to remember the 25th Anniversary of the Andover tornado on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016. We are working with community groups here in Andover. The remembrance will be here at St. Vincent’s. If anyone wants to help organize this event, please let us know in the office.

Signs for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel have been installed. Pope Francis urged us to have the doors of the Church always open as a place for people to come and pray. While it is not practical for the whole Worship Space to be open 24 hours a day, we do have a wonderful Blessed Sacrament as an intimate place for people to come and pray. The Chapel is never locked and is heated and cooled 24 hours a day. It even has its own bathroom. Unfortunately, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel has been hidden to many parishioners, not to mention people that might be passing by. So we placed signs at the main entrances to the Gathering Space and on the Blessed Sacrament Chapel door. Hopefully, these signs will welcome whoever is looking for a quiet place to pray. As this Chapel is a place of prayer, I encourage those coming to Mass to avoid using it as an entryway. We always have the West set of doors on the North side of the Worship Space open before Mass.

The 2016 Annual Fund:  We received approval from the Andover Site Planning Review Committee for our new storage shed, so that project should be happening in the next few weeks. We also have someone fixing up some of the damage to the walls of the Ville at this time. I also am getting more bids for the Ville floor and exploring other options since that project looks to be more expensive than expected. We will fix the floor, but we are exploring the best option for the long term. With their approval, we hope to have the shed built within the next couple of months. Thank you for your generous support which allows us to accomplish these important projects. Please return your pledge cards by March 12th.

February 28, 2016

Our next LIFE event is about how the Holy Spirit renews the Church and our lives in surprising ways.  Come and learn more about the Holy Spirit. The LIFE event is next Sunday, March 5th or Wednesday, Marcy 9th. Sign up now.

Lent: What can God do for us? We begin Lent considering what we plan to do for God and what we will give up for God. However, the more important question is, “How do we need God’s help to heal our human brokenness?” Christianity is about more than self-improvement; even doing self-improvement for God. Our faith recognizes we need God’s help and God’s grace so we can become more grateful, generous and loving people. We usually do not seek God’s help until we have become so frustrated with our own efforts that we give up. Then we turn to God to ask for a particular virtue or a particular grace to heal or strengthen our hearts. We also can invite Jesus into our prayer, imagining Jesus is with us healing what needs to be healed within us. Or we can ask Jesus to take away the pain that stands in the way of forgiveness. Lent is a time to pour our hearts out to God, asking for healing, not simply a time to fix ourselves.


The 2016 Annual Fund:  The really new project in the Annual Fund is the plan for a 24 x 30 foot storage shed. I have seen the need for more storage for a couple years. When I finally put the storage shed on a list with several other needs, the staff put the storage shed at the top of the list. The shed will cost about $16,000 with some extra concrete work outside the shed. We also will need to purchase some good storage shelves for the inside. The extra storage will help us with everything from storing Ville tables and chairs to Karate equipment to Volleyball and youth equipment for outside fun and games. We also will need some space to store things like snow blowers and ladders that cannot be stored inside. I will be going to a meeting this week with the Andover Site Planning Review Committee. With their approval, we hope to have the shed built within the next couple of months. This year, we actually hope to have all our Annual Fund projects done in the next couple of months with the exception of the Ville floor. The Ville floor must wait until July when we have an 11 day window with no activities when the work can be done. Thank you for your generous support which allows us to not only maintain our buildings but even add to them as our ministries grow. 

Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM.

Daily Mass is each Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM.We also have Daily Mass at 8:10 AM on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week. 

February 21, 2016

Our next LIFE event is about how the Holy Spirit renews the Church and our lives in surprising ways.  Come and learn more about the Holy Spirit who we too rarely talk about in the Catholic Church. The LIFE event is Sunday, March 5th or Wednesday, Marcy 9th.

Lent is an opportunity to draw closer to God. We do that by getting rid of things that pull us away from God and adding practices that lead us to God and make us more loving. However, I suggest not trying to change everything at once. If we are successful at adding one positive practice that leads us to God and eliminating one negative habit, then our Lent is a great success.

The 2016 Annual Fund materials were sent out this week. Please return your pledge forms in the next couple of weeks. First, the funds will allow us to re-stain and seal the Ville floor including the entrance as well as touch up some of the walls. Second, we plan to build a 24 x 30 foot storage shed north of the Ville. Third, we plan to re-stripe the parking lot. Finally, we will continue pay off the loan for the heating and air system for the north side of the building. Hopefully, we can count on your continued support to maintain our beautiful building and to add storage space to support our parish ministries. Thank you for your generosity.

We now have a Daily Mass in the evening at 5:30 PM each Wednesday. This is a short daily Mass that lasts less than 30 minutes. The first week’s attendance was 55-60 people, which was at least twice what I was expecting and more than the Daily Chapel holds. So we will move the evening Mass to the Worship Space as long as we have so many people. We do want people to sit together in the two sections facing the Altar so we do not lose the sense of community.

Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM. We start by praying the Stations of the Cross together and then we share a simple meal of Soup and Salad together in the Social Space.