Immaculate Conception
This Wednesday is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which is a holy day of obligation this year. Thanks to those who make the most of this opportunity to prepare the way of the Lord as Mary did so outstandingly!

Retirement Fund for Religious
Next weekend we will find our second envelope for the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection. Most who are over a certain age have fond and probably colorful stories of the good sisters who educated and formed us in our parishes. Now it is our turn to give thanks for and support them in their retirement. Thanks to those who do so and thanks to electronic givers who go to our website and click on “We Share” to make a donation for the Retirement Fund for Religious.

You’re Adorable!
Several weeks ago in the confessional, a young man of the parish asked me a question that is near and dear to my heart: Why don’t we have exposed perpetual adoration at Incarnation? Already, we have a number of parishioners who adore unexposed Jesus in the tabernacle throughout the course of the day.
When I was pastor of the four Petersburg Parishes in Shelby and Auglaize Counties, I resided at Immaculate Conception Church in Botkins for sixteen years. I was abundantly blessed to personally participate in the twenty-four hour-a-day, six days a week perpetual exposed adoration ministry there, in its thirtieth year this year! Over a hundred parishioners participate, taking an hour each week or subbing. I lived in the attached rectory, so I signed up for a harder-to-fill, early-morning hour, either 3:00 or 4:00 am. What is even more inspiring is that, combined with St. Lawrence Church three miles away, they have a total of 600 families between them. Such a commitment for what would be considered a very small parish is inspiring Believe me, I would bend over backward to help start perpetual exposed adoration here at Incarnation! However, I also know how much organizational effort is necessary to begin and maintain such a ministry. In fact, it cannot even be considered without at least a dozen parishioners who are “gung ho” committed to perpetual adoration. As an aside, thanks to those who adore Jesus in church with an eye toward respecting the 9:00 pm church lock time. When Fr. Ignatius and I lock church, we certainly don’t want to have to ask people to leave church when they are praying.

Marvelously Miscellaneous Thanks
Thanks to Ron and Stephanie Crumbacher and Phil and Sherry Kern. Both of these couples saw a need at the parish and reached out with both hands to satisfy that need. Recently, Ron and Stephanie saw how we were using a chair in the sacristy to access the upper cabinets. They purchased a wonderful five step, step ladder for us. Some time ago, Phil and Sherry purchased two, small, folding tables that have received extensive use ever since. Thanks so much to the Crumbacher and Kern families!

Thanks to members of the worship commission who worked so hard a week ago to prepare our sanctuaries for Advent. Deb Ruemmele, Stacy Stang and Kathy and Denny Lammlein were key in making our Advent liturgical environment beautiful and inspiring.
Thanks to Danny Dunn, Molli Glowacki and Joe Roalef and lots of PREP and school leaders/catechists for their hard work to make the second grade first Reconciliation and the eighth grade service retreats wonderful spiritual experiences. Thanks to parents who brought their children to the retreats and who connect their children to Jesus’ mercy at Sunday Mass without fail!

The following is a report from the Strategic Planning Music Subcommittee. Thanks to that group for their hard work!

Sincerely and with Love in Christ,

Fr. Pat

Music Survey Feedback to our Parishioners
Thanks again to all who completed the Music Survey. As was mentioned in Fr. Pat’s article of November 21, there were 2 overarching messages which were apparent from the survey:
1) Music played at mass received high marks from a substantial majority of parishioners.
2) And even within those high marks, there is room for improvement, with ideas and suggestions coming from you, our parishioners.

So, what were the results of the 3 questions on the survey?
Survey Cards Submitted: 651
Those who commented: 59.6%
(Low) 1 2 3 4 5 (High)
How important is music during worship/Mass?
Combining the 2 top scores of 4 and 5 on the scale: 90.2%
How satisfied are you with the current songs/hymns being used at Mass?
Combining the 2 top scores of 4 and 5 on the scale: 70.0%
How satisfied are you as to “how” the hymns/songs are played? (Organ/Piano/Musicians)
Combining the 2 top scores of 4 and 5 on the scale: 77.4%

Suffice it to say, there were plenty of opinions to go around. And shockingly enough, not everyone agrees. Be assured, the Committee read ALL the comments submitted. It’s not likely to think we’re going to make everyone happy, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try. Attempting to please everyone will be a challenge. However, it is apparent from the feedback on the surveys that we can make some “easy” improvements/changes now, and work on other more substantive changes in the near future. The Committee continues to analyze the feedback from all our parishioners. And we’ll begin to make some easy fixes in line with some of the suggestions gleaned from the surveys. More to come soon.