Here is Bulletin_2015-02-22.
1. Rappahannock Clergy Association (RCA): Our Pastor asks that parishioners:
“Please return the Rappahannock Clergy Association/Community Needs Assessment by March 15. You can mail it to the office or drop off the form in the box at the door of the church. If you misplaced the survey you can also pick up ;another one at the door of the church.”
Please refer to the post For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-02-08 Supplement for our comments concerning the RCA.
Based on available news reports, the RCA appears to be a relatively new organization and my wife and I still haven’t figured out if our Pastor is a member of the RCA or not. Considering that there is now a call from him for folks to turn in the assessments, one might suspect that there hasn’t been an overwhelming response to the request to return the assessment.
2. Prayers before and after Mass: Perhaps it was a mistake. Perhaps it was intended. Whichever, my copy of this week’s bulletin contained a card with prayers to be said by altar boys before and after Mass. In the 1950’s, Sister always reminded us to come well before Mass and pray. We were asked to pray as this prayer card says, “…that I may serve You reverently and so give You praise and glory…” Sister also encouraged us to stay after Mass and pray. We were asked to pray as this prayer cards says, “…Thank You for the opportunity of serving at Your altar.”
Sister also said that prayers before and after Mass were not just for altar boys – they were for all who attend Mass.
It made sense then and it still makes sense today. So, my wife and I come to Mass early – it’s time to prepare for the unfolding of the great mysteries. And she and I stay after Mass – it’s time to pray the Prayer to St. Michael and other prayers acknowledging our great thanksgiving for all that we have received.
With regard to the St. Michael prayers, our Pastor has indicated that “some parishioners” had approached him to say they didn’t know what to do and some felt trapped in the pew while it was being said. If “some parishioners” feel trapped, perhaps it is because they didn’t have Sr. Mary Gemma or Sr. Mary Lucienne in their lives.
3. Missing in Action?: Sometimes it is necessary for my wife and I to become very serious and intellectual in the way that we approach particular problems discussed in this blog. So it is with the Parish Pastoral Council. It has been weeks since we have heard any mention of the body commissioned to provide our Pastor with good counsel. To quote from a slightly altered version of a highly academic, philosophical consideration posed by Winnie the Pooh:
Think, think. Think. I believe when a question becomes this sticky, I should ask my very good friend... Pastoral Council. [Echoing] Pastoral Council. Are you here? Are you there? Are you... anywhere?
Perhaps when the snows melt and Spring arrives we shall hear from the Pastoral Council again.