Sunday, February 10, 2019

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - February 10, 2019

Volunteers On Mission!

Last week I announced a volunteer appreciation event for March 3.  I neglected to mention this event is for volunteers over 21 years of age: Young volunteers receive alternative expressions of appreciation.  Again, if you’re a volunteer and haven’t received an invitation by email, please advise your parish receptionist.  If you wish to volunteer, check also with your parish office concerning the Safe Environment program.

Meanwhile, I’m in need of specialized help from people in the social sciences or with the relevant training and experience.  If you’re familiar with interviews oriented toward narrative analysis or appreciative inquiry, or you know someone who is, please alert me.  My hope is to develop a team of people to conduct a series of such interviews at each parish and then synthesize a narrative reflecting the results.  The emerging narratives will be included in the parish profiles used to frame our common mission.

As always, as we strive to implement On Mission for The Church Alive!, I welcome feedback.  If there’s something you think I and my advisors need to know, please speak up by writing a note or sending an email to me, my staff, or my councilors. Please don’t see me before or after Mass about anything of long term importance: It may seem convenient for you, but odds are I won’t be able to mount an appropriate response on those occasions.

Next week, February 21 to 24, Pope Francis will be meeting with representatives of the bishops’ conferences from around the world.  The goal of the meeting seems to be to help the Pope and bishops come to a common understanding of the problem.  It’s a neuralgic matter for us in the Church of Pittsburgh, who last year experienced the simultaneous crises of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report and the scandals surrounding Archbishop McCarrick and his colleagues.  So let’s remember in prayer all affected persons and the bishops at a Holy Hour on Sunday, February 17, at 5:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity Parish.
Fr. Dave

Monday, February 4, 2019

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - February 3, 2019


Volunteer Appreciation

Sunday offerings are not the only gift that fuels the mission of the Church, though of course these are gratefully received and used to the best of our abilities.  But volunteers are also essential to the life of the parish.  At Sunday Mass, most of the people who make it happen are volunteer altar servers (and parents!), choristers, Communion ministers, readers, sacristans, ushers, and more.  Volunteers also drive our social outreach and most of our catechetical programs.  Still others assist me and the other clergy in the governance of the parishes.

In recognition of this important work, I am happy to host a volunteer appreciation event on March 3.  (If you’re a volunteer, please mark your calendars!)  Invitations are going out via various ministry and organization coordinators.  But given the hundreds of volunteers we enjoy, invitations are a herculean task, and I’m sure to miss someone.  If you’re a parish volunteer and you don’t get an invitation by February 16, please alert your parish receptionist and we’ll try to correct the failure.  Thank you for your support of the mission of Christ and his Church!

If you’re not a parish volunteer, please consider becoming one.  The first step is always to complete the Safe Environment program.  In addition to the diligent background checks, the SE program also trains volunteers to recognize best practices and unacceptable risks in the protection of children and youth.  These include how doors are locked or unlocked, how meetings and events are arranged, and how certain types of activities might blur the lines between wholesome and abusive contact.  Our hope is that if every volunteer knows the best practices, then we can eliminate the conditions under which the young might be at risk.

Although the memorial of St. Blase is this year displaced by Sunday, the clergy of RocKenRo will be blessing throats after Masses on February 3.

Bp. Zubik will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to the youth and other candidates from RocKenRo on Thursday, March 14.  In order to prepare, the youth of Holy Trinity are on retreat this coming Saturday. Please pray for them!
                                                                                                       —Fr. Dave