Father's Bulletin Letter 8.21.22
Aug 18, 2022
Although I am a little late, I wish our departing college bound parishioners blessings and success in their studies and pray that, wherever you are, you are inspired in your faith and that you inspire others. Know that you are prayed for.
We are also on the verge of our academic year here around St. Sebastian Square! I hope that all of our students are excited and ready to return to their education. The most important thing that Catholic education does is impart the knowledge of God and faith to our students, the only thing that lasts eternally. While other academic endeavors are extremely important for getting along in this world, (which our parish school does well, finishing in the top 15 percentile in the nation) it is matters of faith that will serve all of our students in the life to come.
I would like to encourage our families to attend Mass at St. Sebastian, especially families enrolled in the parish school since the tuition that you sacrifice to pay does not cover the complete cost to the community for a student’s education. The rest is borne by the generosity of those in the pew. Approximately 20 cents of every dollar goes to subsidizing Catholic education, be it in the school, PSR or sacramental prep, making Catholic education the responsibility of the entire parish.
Even though it may be more convenient to a schedule for some to attend elsewhere, please consider worshipping with the community that makes quality Catholic education for your student possible. And for those times that you cannot, please pray for the parish that makes your child its priority as you and your family are remembered constantly in prayer.
IN OTHER NEWS:
THEOLOGY ON THE ROCKS: This Monday! See elsewhere in the bulletin for details.
STATUS ANIMARUM: The “State of the Souls” report is due this month to the diocese. This is an annual accounting of an individual parish’s statistics, which eventually makes its way to Rome for the purposes of understanding how the Church is doing. Here are some of the more pertinent stats for St. Sebastian Parish:
I am constantly thinking that the enrollment of households in the parish will plateau or even regress a bit. There are a limited number of houses in our small boundaries. But we have had another year of growth in the parish increasing from 1,793 households last year to 1,825 presently.
Last year we celebrated 53 baptisms, while this year 65 were baptized in Christ. We had 16 come in to the Church the previous year while having four this year. Fewer, sure, but mighty! Marriages equaled out to 17 each year and deaths increased from 31 to 39.
Notable events and changes included an almost complete return to normalcy after COVID particularly in the celebration of the sacraments. The baptismal font was moved from the sanctuary to the nave floor and the gate from the old church baptistry was restored and repurposed for security in the back hall of the present church. Fr. Morris left us to become pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul in Doylestown and Fr. Bozek became our new parochial vicar. Parishioner Tim Casey left to discern a vocation with the Capuchins. Finally, this is the year that Pope Francis wrote Traditionis Custodes, placing the future of the extraordinary form of the Mass in question. Currently the Mass is continuing under instruction from Bishop Malesic until such time as he figures out in what direction he will lead the diocese in this matter.
Thank you to our great patron Saint Sebastian for keeping our parish healthy and in good service to God and His people.
ANOTHER BIG THANK YOU: to Jennifer Jones who has faithfully assembled our parish bulletin for many years.