The Liturgy Committee of the new parish met on Monday, September 18 and set the schedule for the fall as well as the Advent and Christmas seasons to come, more quickly than we can imagine even as the temperature hovers in the 80s as I write these words. The spirit and the tone of the meeting was encouraging. We must work together as a single parish, even with two campuses, as it were. All of the people of Precious Blood Parish should feel at home both at St. Mary’s on Gulf Street and at St. Agnes’ on Merwin Avenue.
In the near future, several events are approaching. First of all, this coming Saturday, October 7, which falls three days after the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, we will be holding the annual blessing of animals which will take place at 12:00 Noon on the grounds of St. Mary behind the church hall where the statue of St. Francis is situated. I am pleased to say that the trip to New York City on October 21 is full and those going include a nice mixture of people representative of the new parish and some from elsewhere.
Archbishop Blair will be at St. Mary’s on Sunday, October 22, at 1:30 to celebrate Sunday Mass and to confirm approximately 130 young people from Precious Blood. Admission to the ceremony is by ticket, as space is limited. Three tickets will be given to each confirmand. While some may be unhappy with this, I ask your understanding as the scheduling of Confirmation is set by the Chancery in keeping with the not insubstantial scheduling demands of the bishops. Pray for those who are to be confirmed that they will embrace their Catholic faith with vigor and be effective witnesses to Jesus wherever they go.
In the near future, I will be making appointments to the new Precious Blood Parish Council and the new Precious Blood Finance Council. Six members each from both St. Mary’s and St. Agnes’ will sit on the Parish Council for a term of three years. Four members each from both St. Mary’s and St. Agnes’ will sit on the Finance Council also for a term of three years. Going forward, each year we will appoint two new members each year from each church so that a rotation in membership can be established and avoid having members serve unduly lengthy terms. For two years, the membership of both councils will be quite large but that will shrink to size as the first appointees go off each council in due time.
Those who attend St. Agnes may have noticed some changes in the church. The lighting has been greatly improved with the installation of new, energy efficient light bulbs. The contract has been signed for the installation of a new state-of-the-art sound system which should be installed by the middle or the end of October. The Reconciliation Room has been painted and new furniture put in place. As we move into the winter months, we are looking to repaint the entire interior of the church. Unfortunately, part of this project entails the significant and costly cleaning of the soot that has accumulated from years of candle usage. This means that in all likelihood, due to soot problems and fire code issues, the use of votive candles at St. Agnes will be eliminated once we commence with the painting of the church.
By way of information regarding the availability of Mass intentions, there are open Masses, some on Sundays and many on weekdays, available this year at St. Agnes. Anyone who would like a Mass celebrated for a specific intention should inquire at the parish office at St. Mary’s either in person or by telephone.
In his homily last weekend, Archbishop Blair called all of us to be open to the many good possibilities that can come from the new parish configurations throughout the Archdiocese. Here at Precious Blood, there are great possibilities at hand. I envision a lively, strong community of faith in the central and eastern parts of Milford. I know that I can count on the cooperation of all as we move forward together.
Have a great week!