Monday, June 8, 2009

Tonight, we had a Parish Council meeting. I reported to the Council and the parish about the recent parish mergers in Long Branch. John Boyko, our representative to Pope John 23 school, reported on the Diocesan decision to close the failing school. I'd like to personally thank John for his willingness to serve on the Advisory Board of Pope John 23 school, which labored so well to keep the school open and to improve it's services.

We heard reports from our Liturgy Committee about our efforts to share our resources with our Twin Parish in Jamaica...we packed up a significant amount of vestments, albs, altar cloths and linens to send to Jamaica. Thanks to Ellie and John Cosgrove for packing them up and sending all of those items through Food for the Poor to make sure it arrives safely in Jamaica, and actually gets to Fr. Francis.

Speaking of Fr. Francis, he will be visiting us here at St. Anselm the first weekend of August! To celebrate his presence among us, we're planning a Jamaican-style picnic for the Sunday afternoon of his visit. We'll have Jamaican foods and drinks and have a great afternoon with Fr. Francis. We'll also have a special collection to send with him.

The Council also endorsed my decision to withdraw from volunteering to be on call for Monmouth Medical Center on Mondays. Since there are now a very significant number of priests in the city of Long Branch, it makes little sense for me, 20 minutes away, to be on call with the beeper on Mondays. We will continue to train and support Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who will take the Sacrament to the hospital on Mondays, but I will no longer volunteer to cover on a regular basis.

The Council expressed some concern about the fact that we still have not heard anything from the results of the Deanery Study, as to the future of our parish and the parishes in our area. I would like to again thank the Council and the entire parish for your incredible patience in this matter. Once again, I'd like to thank all of you for your willingness to share the good things here at St. Anselm with other parishes: our practice of Stewardship, our ecumenical outreach, our outreach to the poor and needy, our commitment to outreach to the Missions, our outreach to the addicted, the marginalized, and to those suffering with illness.

Tonight's Council meeting reminded me of the documents of the Second Vatican Council (pictured above). That Council showed the world that the Catholic Church could change, that it is open to people of other faiths, that the Church is more than the Bishops, that the Church is called to be the living presence of Christ in the world today, that all of the baptized are called to ministry, and to leadership in the Church.

Thanks for a great meeting tonight!

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