Twilight Twitches

msgrfetscherDear Family,
I am so happy about our Synod 2021-23 gathering last Sunday. It went so well. There was a dynamic that a number of people felt: one of hope, and “we ought to do this more often.” Well, the question is, “Do what?” What was it we did?

Sure, a group coming to do anything in these days is special. But it was more than a social get-together. I think the dynamic of really listening AND the dynamic of being listened to, both played an important role in trying to come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be Church. For myself, I fully understand how someone can feel the Church is too clerical. I think part of that flows from the simple fact that at least in our big gatherings, (Mass), I’m always speaking and you’re always listening.

We had 42 people attend and as I write we have received 11 written responses. So, 53 out of our average attendance seems pretty good to me. More importantly, I think those 53 gave a fair picture of the social and spiritual character of the parish, and, the greater Church.

But there is another issue for me when it comes to numbers. I won’t try to play a game of “attendance statistics” with you, but in 2019, pre-COVID, our lowest attendance for any weekend was 244. Our highest was 642, excluding Easter. Thus far in 2021, our low was 185 and our high was 247.

MY CONCERN: After the COVID “reprieve” from Sunday Mass obligation, will the numbers jump back to 2019 levels? I fear people getting so used to not coming, that it may be hard to get them back. What is here to attract them?

You’d think at 80 I would eagerly desire to say to the next generation, “OK, it’s in your hands now.” It’s not about control.

For me, one of the most fundamental issues is, “What is it that we are passing on? Does anyone really want it? How can we make it genuinely truthful and attractive?”

I don’t think you need to be wizard to believe that is exactly what Pope Francis had in mind in calling for this worldwide conversation among all us Catholics.

Our three Synod reps, Ed, Jill and Maryellen plus myself and Annie will pull together the responses that came from the table groups. Our work is cut out for us, but I will send a copy of the results we come up with to each of last Sunday’s attendees as well as those who sent in their responses. Pray we will be open to letting the Spirit help us merge and meld in such a way that it brings light to our Church in these challenging times.

Are you wondering what THANKS @ 10 means? That’s a Twitchy way of letting you know we will have our special Thanksgiving Mass on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 a.m. There will be no 8:30 a.m. Mass.

As I may have mentioned, unfortunately we will not have our pumpkin pastelitos after the Mass. Next year we’ll order double and throw in enough cider to wash them all down. Meanwhile, we remember to “Drive out Hunger.” See you Thursday!

In Jesus,

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