Friday, September 3, 2010

Your input needed

Based on what you know right now, and assuming you had been included in the process, what suggestions might you have offered to the problems facing our parish? No snark here, please!

How could we bring more income to the parish? There used to be annual and even weekly fundraisers that brought needed income to the parish. Would you bring those back, or look for new sources of funding?

As a parish, how should we go about bringing in the many Catholics who don't attend mass? or those who have left out of hurt and frustration?

If you knew of the considerable maintenance and repair issues for our churches, what would you have done to solve the problems?

How could we, as a parish, better support All Saints Academy?

We could/should do ___________________ about __________________.

Gather your thoughts and be ready to share at the September 12 meeting.


  1. I hear there used to be a Parish Festival/Carnival. I used to be in the Diocese of Pittsburgh where church carnivals (usually a week long Mon-Sat) Ran from May through September. There was a small company that did simple amusement rides (basically kiddie rides and a small ferris wheel) along with providing a few carnie games and extra booths for other games -- each organization with in my parish would man a booth for the week. There was a dinner each night as well as other carnie food to snack on when the dinner was done and bingo was going on in its place. On average at the parishes I belonged to, that carnival made 90-100 thousand in that week. Largest part was the big raffle where you won the favorite prize -- Money (and many times, the winners donated back a portion of their winnings)...but people loved the festival. It really brought the parish together. I know 100 grand won't solve our problems...but, the community and healing it will bring can help renew our parish. And start the process.

    Fundraisers are a great deal of work and sometimes they don't make very much money BUT the community they build and the potential healing they could bring is amazing.

    BRING BACK THE FESTIVAL. Rethink and then BRING BACK BINGO. Do car washes. White Elephant Sales (Flea Markets). Bake Sales. We do very little fundraising that requires interaction or person to person contact. Those Spaghetti Dinners need to happen monthly. What about Fish Fries in Lent or Meager Meals.

    I started helping in my parish because our new youth minister asked me to help in his Teen Catechesis program. I was unemployed so why not. Several years and one World Youth Day later I was a youth minister. People need to be asked personally to come back -- not emailed, texted, need to call (and then visit). If something needs done at the church (rectory needs painted) ask that person you know from work or see at the gym who once said to you "Yeah, I used to be Catholic." Make them feel useful, even important, and they will help and possibly even come to mass occasionally. Evangelization truly can happen anywhere because God is everywhere.

  2. What an awesome comment, Mary. You are right on target.

  3. People will come forward to help save Saint Vincent's. They are pissed off (pardon)I actually think the process that was used will backfire on leadership and, in the end, we will see parishioners coming together like never before. I am actually excited about the passion people are expressing. Even our non-Catholic friends and neighbors are behind us. It truly is a revolution. SAVE OUR PARISH and let's begin by reclaiming Saint Vincent's.

  4. I think you are right, Ann. I just talked to a lady named Shelly who was married at St. Vincent's and her kids baptized there. She could not believe what was happening. She put a poster up at her place of business, took several more along with some flyers and said, "If I can do anything else, let me know."

    The word must get out about the Sept. 12 meeting. If anyone would like a poster to display, please email us at

    We have plenty of flyers, too.

  5. I heard the council reps. and facilities committee members are very upset about the "Save Saint Vincent's" movement. Did they think nobody would care? It still blows me away that we were left out in the dark; left totally out of the decision making process. I don't get it. The only explanation is poor leadership.

  6. Remember that we must all stick together in this fight!! I agree that we do need to do fundraisers for our parish. Also the variety that Mary suggested is brilliant! I hope to see you all at the Sept 12th meeting!! God Bless!

  7. We've got to get parishioners to come back- this is the only way we can justify saving Saint Vincent's. This is going to take a miracle- I spoke with several people after mass today in Addison and I don't think they will come back unless there is a change of leadership.

  8. Dear Anonymous (9:36 PM)

    I was just thinking how important it would be to "Pack the House," meaning fill God's House that resides at St. Vincents.

    What a powerful statement it would make for parishioners, and non-parishioners for that matter, to pack the 4 PM and 9:30 AM Masses. And, not just once but for several weekends. If you tithe at another church throw a note in the collection basket that simply says "Preserve St. Vincent's" and if you feel so inclined sign your name. If you put a donation in the collection basket put a note with it that says "Preserve St. Vincent's"

    You also wrote that "Anonymous said... "I spoke with several people after mass today in Addison and I don't think they will come back unless there is a change of leadership."

    Perhaps these folks will come for a "visit" and a repeat "visit" if you ask them. Spread the word to "Pack the House." Remember, Miracles are God's specialty.

  9. Mary- A great idea- the problem is that those of us who have left are happy in our new parishes. There is no drama, there is no division, there is simply a beautiful mass, where the Eucharist is the focus and the priest's role is not diminished. I can't speak for all, but truly believe that while these people feel terrible about the closing of Saint Vincent's, they are experiencing a loyalty to the parishes that have nurtured them since their departures from All Saints. One of the many blessings of our faith is that we can be Catholic in so many places- the convenience of the ABC and Elmira parishes is a local blessing.

  10. Dear Anonymous (of 10:22 AM)

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote especially the convenience and blessing of the ABC and Elmira parishes. I am just asking that you all consider a "visit" back at least to St. Vincent before the "proposed sale" goes to DOR (in October). Yes, it is a sacrifice but it could make a difference. A packed "house" (of God) with a collection basket packed with notes of "Please preserve St. Vincent." Isn't a church where hundreds of converts became Catholics on many Easter Vigils worth the sacrifice? Please prayerfully consider this. Those of us who have decided to make the sacrifice to stay would greatly appreciate your support.

    Think about it. Pray about it. That is all I ask.

  11. Mary,

    What a sad, sad time for our church. My family is one of those who have left. We have been gone for 2 years. The thought of coming back is very intimidating. Part of me is hurt by the response of the parish to those of us who have left. Not one person has reached out to us to ask us why we left or will we please return. We were faithful contributors to All Saints for 20 years and involved in various ministries. We know others who feel this same way- nobody on staff cares. They tend to ridicule those who leave without asking the tough questions. My heart is broken over all that has transpired in the past few years. A vibrant faith community has disintegrated.

  12. The parish in which I grew up does a three day festival - Thursday thru Saturday - and last year they NETTED over $50,000. Not bad for a small town. People there love their pastor and trust his leadership, even though they are in the midst of clustering and have had their school closed. They have embraced what is happening as the "pruning" of which Jesus speaks in the Gospel. They are planning on bearing abundant fruit and a great harvest.
    Leadership makes all the difference in the world

  13. It was my understanding that St Vincent's was built so that it could be expanded on both sides...if the blueprints are still around it should show that....then the problem of not being big enough would be solved...add on instead of putting all the sales money into the Church on the Hill....

  14. I am a proud member of All Saints Parish and I
    attend St Mary's Church. My church was closed
    9 years ago. It was a very sad time for all of
    us at Saint Patrick's but we moved on with grace
    by the Grace of God. It was known then that
    we would eventually be one church and we all
    knew that church would be St. Mary's (it makes
    the most sense). My heart goes out to everyone
    at St. Vincient's I know how hard it is to see
    your church close. But you need to remember it
    is just a building. Just recently we watched as
    St. Patrick's was torn down. I wanted to take
    pictures but it was too emotional and I could
    not. I now wish I had. But it was still just a
    building. The church, the memories and God are
    in my heart. And that will never change.

    I would like to take this opportunity to let all
    of our church leaders know that they are doing
    a great job. Father Lew Brown is an amazing
    priest with beautiful stories to tell and a
    warm welcoming smile. Father Fred Assuming
    although new seems to be someone who cares very
    deeply for the Catholic religion and the people
    of our parish. He has left his home country to
    come to us to bring us the word of God. Deacn
    Dean and his family have brought a new dimension
    to our parish. I don't recall a time when we
    were able to watch the children of one of our
    Deacon's grow up within the parish community.
    Since their arrival we've been able to witness
    a new birth into their family and one of the
    most beautiful baptims I've ever witnessed.
    We've watched Josh come in as a 16 year old and
    flourish in his musical ability. And now that
    he is off at college still feels the commitment
    to family and parish to come back and give.
    Deacon Dean and Janet have instilled God into
    the hearts of their children and that can only
    be because God is in theirs. Deacon Ray has a
    long history with our parish. I was so glad to
    see him come back and always enjoy the message
    he brings to Mass. It was Deacon Ray who taught
    me a valuable lesson many years ago. For those that remember when the wording of the Gospels were changed we still had the booklets with the old words. People were outraged. Deacon Ray as part of a Homily thought that maybe we should close our books and just listen. Two simple words just listen. And maybe that's what we should do now. Just listen with open hearts.
    I'm not sure there are words to describe Deacon
    Hankey. You can look at him and just see the
    light of God around him. And with that I cannot
    elaborate. And then there is Trish. To Trish I
    can only say we love you. You are there for
    anyone that needs you. I see your need to help
    people in your eyes. And that deserves a great
    big thank you.

    So why do I say all of this? The leaders of our
    church are only trying to do what is best for
    the Parish. I'm sure they do what they do with
    heavy hearts and not out of spite or hatred.
    They are our leaders and they do a great job.
    Which is why I leave the logistics to them.
    While I concentrate on being the best Christian
    I can be. Remember God and your church are in
    your heart.
    Love to all,