Many of you have asked how Fr. John is doing in Rome, and I am happy to report that he is doing very well. As you can see he has not aged one bit and still looks as studious as always. We went to listen to the Holy Father together and had a wonderful day together. We even went out for supper together and yes I did charge it to the parish and now you can all say you paid for Fr. John's supper in Rome. He offered his prayers for all of us and please remember to pray for him.
So how do you stay in touch with the parish in an every changing world? How many people actually read a parish bulletin? How many people really know what is going on in their own parish? And if they read the bulletin do they retain the information?
These are the kinds of questions often asked by priests to priests and priests to parishioners. So what might be the answer?
When I was taking my degree in Business we often talked about two approaches to getting a message out, one the scatter gun approach and the other was the high powered rifle approach. Can you tell there was a bunch of farm boys in my group?
The scatter gun approach was based on you tell or leave your message in as many places as possible, sort of like leaving 8 by 10 photos all over the place. The high powered rifle approach was one big photo in what was assumed the best place.
We are going to try the scatter gun approach, bulletin, webpage, blog, announcements after mass all in the hopes of getting the message out about what is going on in our parish and in some cases the great need that we have for volunteers to make these programs work. The other possibility is creating some new programs. For instance:
1. we have a grief program for some one who has lost a spouse but we don't have a grief program for people who have lost a parent or child, these people need our help also.
2. we have a youth program for junior high kids but we lack the ability to grow it because we need more young men to help as leaders. These men could be married or not, they just need to be willing to help. Boys need male role-models to look up to and they need them in their own environment.
These are just a few things we need to be aware of.
The other thing for me as a priest is the question of how often do we need to be reminded that God is truly present in our lives. On my phone I get daily updates from the Vatican, the Popes daily homily (not that I would ever steal his material), daily inspirations, Catholic thoughts and others. Why do i subscribe to these? Because I need reminders to refocus throughout the day and keep Jesus front and centre in my life. If I am the priest and I need this help, and I am sure i am not a whole lot different than other people, where do the people of God find their daily help to stay focused on Jesus?
How many of the apps on your smart phone are for Games, music, shows etc? How many are on your phone for the big guy? How many God apps do you have on your phone? One is nice, many is better!
Peace: Fr. Kevin