Handling Change Outstandingly



Beacons of Light: Open Comment Period, October 1-20

On September 29, priests of the Archdiocese will meet in a special meeting for the “Beacons of Light” reveal. Truly, Beacons of Light will be one of the top ten most important happens of all time for the  archdiocese. With this initiative the Archdiocese will go from 120 parishes/regions to sixty. The “regioning” or “familying” is an essential need for the archdiocese which will increase vitality and new life of the parishes, but not without, suffering and death.

The parish families were recommended by a consulting company who used archdiocesan parish data and demographics and who has led this process in other dioceses. Archdiocesan administration and Deans have seen the plan and have suggested numerous changes. Those leaders have respected the archbishop’s request that they not reveal plan details before September 29. Word about important topics in the archdiocese usually get around quickly among the presbyterate, and as much as I want to know the details, the request for “mum” has been highly respected, which is a positive value!

While the familying will occur over at least a year’s time it will be momentous and very, very difficult. Indeed, it will be every bit of Jesus’ Cross: difficult feelings like fear and anger; exhausting and frustrating work; sacrificing and dying to self/parish.

However, we are up for it! How do we know? As a parish we have entered into massive change already with our strategic plan. We reach out in welcome. We jump in when there is work to be done. We are building an awesome staff. What our strategic plan tells us is that we can handle this upcoming change outstandingly. After a bit of cross we will experience a beautiful resurrection, new and greater life, and wonderful hope for the future!

As with parishes, Catholic Schools of the archdiocese will undergo a similar transformation, although I have not heard any details regarding schools. More than likely, the “regioning”/”familying” parishes that support or send
their children to specific schools will guide the school plan.

Please be reminded that the Beacons of Light draft “Families of Parishes” which priests will see on September 29 will be shared with the faithful for their review and feedback October 1-20. The draft will be posted on www.BeaconsAOC.org along with an online
comment box. I encourage parishioners to bookmark and visit that website continually.

40 Years and Counting

Pastoral Musicians of the Archdiocese gathered last week for an evening of prayer and formation. As a part of that gathering, musicians are recognized for special anniversaries as pastoral musicians. Our Director of Music and Liturgy, Kevin Samblanet, was recognized for forty years of ministry as a pastoral musician. Congratulations Kevin!!

I appreciated Kevin when he led music at my First Mass at St. Ann Parish in Hamilton, twenty four years ago. From my first  experiences of Kevin here, I was inspired by the way he is attentive to the liturgy, more than any musician I have seen. So well prepared is he that he is able to focus great attention to the Word being proclaimed and preached. Whenever he is not ministering
directly at the keyboard or with choir, he is locked on to the liturgy!

Even more, as we have entered into the strategic plan, he has been open to feedback, for example, diminishing the volume of the organ. Soon, as we are doing with preaching, he will be offering the congregation the opportunity to offer feedback at specific Masses. Thanks Kevin for these bold steps. May we sing even better, praising the Lord for so many things, including your presence among us!

Quick Thanks and Report about Unbound Visit

There is a Thank You note from Fr. Mike Rieder hanging by the staff mail slots. It reads “Dear Fr. Pat and Fr. Ignatius, Thank you so much for your incredible (underlining his) hospitality and for sharing your amazing community with me and Unbound. Thanks to the
generosity of your parishioners, 81 people were sponsored this past weekend. Peace, Mike”

Thanks Incarnation parishioners for being true to our core values, for reaching out in welcome and hospitality!!

Help Wanted: An “E” Person

Incarnation Church is looking for a part-time person who can help us with our electronic/social media. The position would be temporary and paid. The primary goal of this position is to help continue progress in the set up of our new website and growing social media until we can hire a marketing person. Please call the office 937 433-1188 and leave your name and number.

Greater Spiritual Health and Growth 

Thanks to parishioners who complete a stewardship card during stewardship weeks. Next week will be the Stewardship card of Talent as we consider the time when Jesus tells his apostles who is the greatest. The greatest are those who are “the last of all and the servant of all ”Mark 9:35. Using our talent to serve the body of Christ, at Mass, in parish leadership and in the community.

Completing every stewardship card every year is like a yearly personnel evaluation or doctor exam. It will lead to greater spiritual health and growth!

Sincerely and with Love in Christ,
Fr. Pat