From Father John

May 23th Part 1:  I had the question the other day, “Is our Little Church going to close? Because I am worried.” This is a good question and a question every Catholic should have in their minds if he or she cares about his or her parish. It seems that the whole Church is downsizing; all we need to do is look at how many of the younger generations are attending church. So it is worrisome for the long term; “What do we have to do to get the younger parishioners to come to church?” “Are we to turn to entertainment when there is already so much entertainment out there?” I do not believe this is the answer. They have too many choices for entertainment ---in fact I believe the opposite is the answer. People are bombarded by too much. There’s too much media, too much news, too much excitement. Any movie or videogame, any song, any diversion is at their fingertips. What we need is back to basics. A purity of the liturgy and simplicity in prayer. And so I attempt this at our parish with the Lord’s help ---to give people a safe space where they can reflect and pray unencumbered. Perhaps this will have a lasting effect.In the meantime, the older generation who is generous in giving is dying off. Benefactors who come to church and give a percentage of their income are becoming less and less. What values do we have? Where do we spend our money? For many the answer is not the Church. The price of a cup of coffee is often more expensive than what the younger generations would like to give in Church. How could we expect anything more when younger generations are given everything. They often do not understand that their contributions to church helps to keep it open. There is a disconnect there. It takes time and engagement for understanding in this matter. I often blame the mentality of parents who say “I am going to let my kids decide for themselves to come to church” for the non-attendance of youth at church. How can kids choose Church when they aren’t exposed to it? If all it is are the big moments in life is when they want to come: first communion, confirmation and marriage, then how are we promoting their being invested beyond this? They come to get these sacraments, but then they don’t find it necessary to attend other times. They come to get something from the church, but where is their investment? The youth do not learn this mentality on their own, it comes from somewhere. Youth ministry needs an injection of new life into it. We hope to get more volunteering adults and do more things with the youth. I am dedicated to making this happen.....

May 30th Part 2: Youth ministry needs an injection of new life into it. We hope to get more volunteering adults and do more things with the youth. I am dedicated to making this happen. For one thing, we need to tell the youth we need help and get them involved; this is why before confirmation they have their “hours of service” to complete. But when our kids are serving their church and community perhaps they see that they are needed and valued. Volunteering for the Church we hope can instill in them values and the knowledge that they are needed. When we feel needed we are invested. On a positive note, Church attendance seems to be growing since the pandemic; our office has been restructured so that our contributions can go further to help with bigger expenses like breaking air-conditioning units that are old. And I am looking at eliminating other unnecessary expenses and getting more volunteers for things which were paid for before, i.e. cleaning of the church. In the long term things may be worrisome, but it falls on everyone of us to spread the gospel and get our fellow parishioners into church. The Church has been through many difficult times, and it still exists. Are we willing to invest and bring our kids to church? Are we willing to get involved to lift some of the burden off of “paid-for-services”? These things are important to the survival of the Church –not just our little Church, but the whole Church.