Catholic Leadership Institute

“Looking To The Future”
Based on the presentation made to the parish by Mrs. Christine Napiecek

Recently, Holy Martyrs parish participated in a survey sponsored by the Catholic Leadership Institute. The results showed that, statistically, we are not very different from other parishes in the country. Across the board, people expressed likes and dislikes. We took part in a follow-up meeting at which Mr. Terry Poplava of the Catholic Leadership Institute, from South Carolina and was assigned as our parish mentor in this process. Overall, the people at the meeting were impressed with the comeback we have made in such a short time after nearly closing.

One thing we discussed was the fact that people felt they did not always know what is happening in the parish. Our mentor, Terry Poplava, was surprised that we did not score higher in this category when we listed the many ways that we communicate including making good use of the internet.

We communicate through our weekly Parish Bulletin (also available online), weekly announcements at Sunday Mass, 5 individual Facebook pages and our parish website. There are also bulletin boards at all the church entrances. We have also frequently been featured on local radio stations including KYWnews radio, Relevant radio, and Domestic Church Media. Parish events are also featured in the local newspapers, including the Enterprise. In addition a Parish Handbook was published this year and mailed to every registered household. Each year updates are included in the Fall Block Collection Letter and the St. Patrick’s Letter in the Spring, both of which are mailed to every parish household. The parish financial statement is published in the bulletin annually. Finally, a parish wide email highlighting upcoming events and updates is sent at least once a month. If you are not receiving these e-mails please contact the parish office and provide your email address.

Each year we sponsor many spiritual and social events, but, like many other parishes, we experience a rather low turnout. In the last year we had many events including the Pro-Life forum, sponsored by the Holy Martyrs Respect Life Committee, which meets monthly, consider joining us . We have “Coffee and Prayer” after Mass on Thursday mornings to discuss the upcoming Sunday readings.

We have a parish membership to a wonderful resource for information about the Catholic Faith. It is free to parishioners; the parish link and password are available in the bulletin. Please take advantage of this service.

You are also invited to join us for Daily Mass. During this past Advent we had a spiritual event scheduled each week, scheduled both in the morning and in the evening. Likewise, during Lent, we had a weekly event, including the talk “Mary at the Foot of the Cross” by our weekend assistant, Father Michael Shea, C.M. Gary Zimak, a Catholic author and radio talk show host, spoke on his book “Give Up Worry for Lent.” We once again had the Exposition of Sacred Relics and the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

In addition to First Friday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, each Wednesday of Lent and through the Easter Season, we had the opportunity for a private Holy Hour following Mass, with Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We celebrate our Annual Eucharistic Devotions in October when the Blessed Sacrament is enthroned on the altar for a prolonged period of prayer and reflection. We have daily Mass.

Recently, we hosted the Triple Crown events in our parish. Unfortunately one of them had to be cancelled due to the lack of a timely response. Other parish events include Breakfast with Santa, Family Game Night, The Father/Daughter dance, Respect Life Spaghetti Dinner and, of course, the carnival. . . for which we always need volunteers and sponsors.

Overall, we learned that like many parishes we need more people to be involved. The staff members of the Catholic Leadership Institute suggested that the best way to recruit people, is for people to talk to one another. If you are involved in a ministry, invite a friend to discern a call to that ministry. We can always use more Mass Ministers. If you are a member of a committee, bring a friend to the next meeting. If you are a volunteer, invite a friend to join you. If you have an idea about something that you see needs to be done, let us know, someone will point you in the right direction . . . Or like the gentlemen who have taken over the gardening and landscaping of our property get some people together and get started (Thank you!) . . . perhaps you would like to join our gardening crew.

Thank you for your attention and consideration. . . . More in the very near future about the CARNIVAL.