Meeting Notes for the St. Mary’s Parish Open Forum held on November 6, 2015
Meeting in Columbus Hall was started promptly by Fr. Shelton at 6:00 PM with a prayer.
Men’s Retreat announced to be held Nov. 21 at the Tennessee Theatre.
A Catholic Association of the Faithful known as the St. Vincent de Paul is to take over the operation of the St. Joseph’s food pantry.
- List newly deceased persons in the bulletin on a weekly basis.
- Update the parish map in the basement of the Church across from the elevator.
- Reduce Sunday (English) Masses from 3 to 2 and invite people to fill the pews, and to relieve stress on lay ministers.
- Identify people who are on the parish rolls but do not attend Mass.
- Father Shelton recommend the parish read the book entitled Rebuilt.
- Legion of Mary can be an effective tool for inviting neighbors to join parish/Church.
- Need more evening activities.
Ideas expressed on expanding the liveliness of the parish
- Once people return to the Church, we must have something to keep the returnees here.
- Must determine what it is that people need.
- Shift-work is a consideration for the Mass schedule.
- Liturgy/music tailored to the participants.
- Need to partner with other denominational churches on bible studies and social action in order to attract outsiders to the Church.
- Demographics of the parish as a consideration.
Perspective of a young parishioner
- A beautiful church is an asset for evangelization.
- Pictures of the staff should be depicted on the website.
- The weekly bulletin starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday so notification time for Sunday events is inadequate.
- Ushers and greeters at all the Masses is important particularly for new people and visitors.
- Calendar on the website needs to coincide with events listed in the bulletin.
- Start having a movie night.
- Provide email contacts for the events listed in the bulletin.
- Establish a Welcome Committee that visits new parishioners.
- Provide/display building maps showing locations of rooms.
- Provide signs for facilities.
- Sign up for activities.
- Have more activities for young kids (preschoolers?)
- Establish a children’s Mass (where the activity of the children is more likely to be “tolerated”.)
- Revisit the cry-room concept.
- Establish bilingual Masses with a “teleprompter” display of the liturgy.
- Sensory lights along walkways
- Youth participation at Second Harvest Food Bank used to bring money to the Food Pantry. Should consider implementing this activity again; however, this requires youth involvement.
- Need to implement the Usher Guidelines.
- Two kinds of organizations in a parish:
- Organizations within the jurisdiction of the parish administration.
- “Autonomous” organizations like the St. Vincent de Paul.
- Need an interim procedure to get the food pantry supplied with food while St.V.dP is being started.
- Make check out to St. Mary’s Catholic Church with St. Joseph Food Pantry indicated on the memo line.
- Need for census of the parish with results input to the Divine Liturgy Committee.
- Father Shelton: Home Campaign is opportunity to refurbish grounds and facilities, especial our “centers of welcoming”.
- Need wheel chair access to one confessional.
Meeting adjourned with a prayer by Fr. Dustin.[Meeting notes developed from a draft kindly prepared by John DeClue]