Father's Bulletin Letter 9.3.23

Aug 31, 2023


This coming Monday is Labor Day. The parish office will be closed and the daily Mass will be at 9am.


It is the time of the year that every parish must submit its Status Animarum (State of the Souls Report) to the diocese, which is then sent on to Rome for the purposes of establishing the health of the Church throughout the world. About this time each year I share with you the results of St. Sebastian’s report and how we faired compared to the previous year. These statistics run from July 1 to June 30.

There is no such thing as “registered households” in most of the world. People are a part of a parish if they live within the parish boundaries. It is largely just in the United States that we belong to a parish at which one is registered (which causes canon lawyers all kinds of headaches). But we keep those numbers none the less. In the 2021 report we had 1,793 registered households, in 2022 there were 1,825. This year we have 1,836 continuing our growth over the past decade and a half. If you are not registered, you may do so by stopping over at the rectory during business hours or online on the parish website. If you will be moving or otherwise leaving the parish, please call the office and inform Cathy Sivec.

Households are one thing, number of persons is another. A household may be one person or twelve! Last year we were able to report 4,999 persons. This year I really hoping for just one more. We did that and better with 5,079 with the last full census being performed in 2021.

Sacramentally, last year we had 65 baptisms (that’s why Mass can be so lively!) but this year we had 42. Last year there were 58 persons who made their First Holy Communion and this year there were 41 owing to a small second grade class.

Last year, 17 couples tied the knot at St. Sebastian while 19 were joined in Holy Matrimony this year. Our school enrollment held steady with slightly improved enrollment. This count means that we consider our school full to the public, though not at capacity so that if someone moves into our boundaries and joins the parish, we can still accept their children into most grades. We prayed for the repose of the souls of 31 fellow parishioners last year and 34 this reporting period.

So roughly we maintained our parish health if not grown a bit. Considering how difficult it was to get to Mass during this time of road work, this is reassuring.

Beginning this week, we are counting on Mull Avenue being open through the Greenwood intersection for driving and parking for Mass unless it rains all week! That should also mean that the church parking lot will be fully accessible! Please let your fellow Sebastianites know! This will be particularly helpful as we are heading into our annual October Counts. The first two weekends of October, every parish is required to count the number of persons at each of the weekend Masses to give the diocese some idea on how to allocate resources.

In this past Thursday’s Angelus Letter, I gave a couple of other facts from this year’s report that won’t fit in the bulletin. Thank you for another wonderful year especially as we faced so much construction around the parish! Know of my daily prayers for you and please keep the parish in your prayers. St. Sebastian, pray for us!

God bless,

Fr. Valencheck