God be praised for His abiding presence in our life! We have all gone through a challenging journey during the past 15 months. We have had changes in our school, work, and home, as well as in our normal activities and routines. Through it all, God has been with us in more ways than we know!
Parish Staff and School a Bright Star during the Pandemic
The parish has likewise made adjustments in response to the pandemic. Our staff, though now reduced in size, has been exceptional in their dedication. I am so thankful for the cooperation of so many in following our safety protocols. Our school was able to provide yearlong, in-person learning and we were blessed with increased enrollment. We are blessed again with an increase of classrooms for the upcoming school year! I am most thankful for the support, encouragement, and response of our parishioners during this extraordinary time. We have been a bright Star in our community, and I thank God.
New Music Minister to Start Weekend of July 31-August 1
I am very happy to announce that Glenn Miller will join our Star ministry team as our new Music Minister. Glenn comes to us after 23 years as the organist and director of music, choirs, and so much more at Kirk in the Hills (Bloomfield Hills). He is also internationally recognized for his rare basso profundo voice, making him in demand for concerts and recordings. In 2015, he and the virtuoso choir, Conspirare, were awarded a coveted Grammy for Best Choral Performance for their recording, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, with Glenn as a featured soloist. We are honored to have Glenn join our ministry team.
Parish Needs your Help to Get Back to Normal
We are all anxious to get back to “normal” or “pre-pandemic” parish life. We have removed ribbons from all the pews and returned hymnals to their proper place. As we continue along this path, we need volunteers to once again participate in the ministries and programs that have made our parish alive and inviting. We are still in need of someone to help livestream the Saturday 4 pm Mass and others to serve as Sacristan at the Sunday 11:30 am Mass.
We also need volunteers to help restore or fill the ranks of other ministries or programs, e.g., ushers, greeters, Eucharistic Ministers, singers and instrumentalists, Sunday coffee & donuts, etc. Basically, every parish organization or ministry that has been on “pause” for the past 15 months is looking for former and new members to re-engage so our parish can again be vibrant and helpful to parish families. Please check the weekly bulletin for opportunities to spark the flame of parish life. Thank you!
Need to Return to Normal Sunday Offering Levels
Pre-pandemic, our Sunday Offerings averaged $20,000 a week. For the past 15 months, the average has been around $10,000 with, thankfully, a few occasional spikes. The parish needs stable and committed financial stewardship. As a reminder of your own stewardship over the last three years, you are able to contact the Parish Office to review the amounts we have on record for your Sunday Offerings (excluding Holydays, Mass intentions, and AoD Collections) for 2019, 2020, and 2021 as of June 30, 2021.
Online or Automatic Withdrawal Giving Contributes to Parish Financial Stability
Thanks to those parishioners who continued their support of the parish and its many ministries and programs during the shut-down. Although we were not “open” during that period, our operations and mission continued. Thank you to all who registered for online and automatic withdrawal giving. I know many parishes have testified how little their Sunday Offering dropped during the pandemic because a majority of their parishioners participate in FaithDirect, Simply Said, or AoD Online Giving. Please consider one of these options to provide consistent support to our mission as a parish.
2021 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) Underway
Last autumn, our 2020 Catholic Services Appeal, delayed from its normal May timeframe, was very successful. We met our assigned target and the excess money was returned to the parish. With that money we were able to sustain parish operations, as the Sunday Offering dropped during the pandemic, as well as making some long overdue plumbing repairs around the gym. The 2021 CSA began with mailings from the Archdiocese in mid-April and is still ongoing. Linked below is information about how to make your gift or pledge to the 2021 CSA including how to enroll in online giving. As you know, OLSOS benefits from the many ministries and programs funded by the CSA and will receive any money in excess of our 2021 target of $170,000. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to make your contribution/pledge to the 2021 Catholic Services Appeal in the next few weeks.
Parishioner Information – Updates Needed
You will also find below a link to a brief Registration Update Form. When we made calls to all of our parishioners in the early part of the pandemic, we realized the information we had for many of our parishioners was out of date. So, please, take a few minutes to complete the brief form and return it to the parish by Labor Day. Why is registration in a parish important? Please read the form for some helpful answers! Those who have reached the age of 21 should register in their own name and not remain under the registration of their parents.
A Blessed Summer to All
Thank you for your attention and cooperation in these matters. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Finally,
I hope during these summer months that you not only rest and return to some normal summer family fun, but that you are also renewed in your faith and in the practice of being enriched and nourished by the Lord through regular participation in Sunday Mass. The Lord is always calling us to himself so that our relationship, rooted in the life of Church and the sacraments, becomes the bedrock in all the good and turbulent times in our life. Let us not forget that our Blessed Mother, especially under the title of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, brings us into the safe harbor of the Lord’s peace.
God bless you.
Msgr. Gary Smetanka