Father’s Column 1/24

Posted on January 24, 2016

Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Praised be Jesus Christ!

The New Year is a good time to provide an update about the state of the parish and its finances. Over this past year, Old St. Mary’s has seen a lot of growth. In 2015 we added 40 families to the parish, bringing us to 234 families. We had 15 baptisms, 9 first Holy Communions, and 2 parish weddings. We have over 75 children in our Catechesis Program and this year we have four Catechumens for Baptism and at least one candidate to be received into full Communion with the Church. The Pregnancy Center continues its very important work of ministering to mothers in need while working to promote a culture of life that respects human dignity at all stages. We also celebrated the ordination of Fr. Adrian Hilton, who had his vocation fostered here during the formative years of his life and now servers here as a Parochial Vicar. The Community-in-Formation continues in its quest to be the Cincinnati Oratory and serve Old St. Mary’s and Over-the-Rhine.

Over this past year, we have grown closer as a parish. The fish fry continues to grow, and while this comes with a financial benefit to the parish, the fact that so many of you come out to volunteer (from all of the different Masses), helps brings us together as a parish. Our parish workdays continue to draw large crowds. All of this is working for the greater honor and glory of God in Over-the-Rhine. Without our volunteers, without the support of the parishioners, we couldn’t accomplish as much as we do. I certainly continue to support and encourage everyone to look for the various ways you can get involved.

We have all been given a precious gem, the Parish Church of Old St. Mary’s. It is something we all love and cherish. We have to ensure that we leave Old St. Mary’s to our future generations in better condition than we found it. This isn’t just in terms of physical improvements, though we are in need of several. This isn’t just in terms of finances, though we are doing very well. This also includes the importance of handing on the faith to our children, bringing others into our church, and ensuring that Old St. Mary’s is always a place that proclaims the Gospel and administers the Sacraments. Churches don’t close because there are no longer people in the neighborhoods, they close because parishioners have grown apathetic and no longer care. The Archdiocese doesn’t close parishes, people close parishes.

Of course Old St. Mary’s isn’t in danger of closing, but this should be a reminder to us of this precious gift that has been given to us. We should never be apathetic or take for granted what we have. A call to us to be willing to do whatever it takes to evangelize and support our parish. We are on the eve of a Capital Campaign to help pay for our bell tower repairs, a new roof, and several other items to keep Old St. Mary’s in good condition for future generations that will sit in these pews if we do our part. Please pray about what you can do for Old St. Mary’s, in terms of giving of your treasure, but also your time and talent. Please find on the tables a copy of our financial report for this half of the fiscal year and have a blessed week ahead!

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