This weekend we are featuring our scrumptious LOBSTER ROLLS… our missionaries will be selling the rolls for $20.00, which includes chips and the roll. I want to thank the Marshfield Commercial Fisherman’s Association for donating all of the lobsters. A word of thanks to the Lobster Pound for taking the lobsters and shelling them for us, which makes it easier for our volunteers to make the actual rolls. The proceeds from the sale help fund the missionary work our youth and adults undertake in New Jersey and in Central America. I want you to know many of you make contributions without even asking for a turkey sandwich or a lobster roll, which is a great reflection on you.
Over the past seven+ years the archdiocese has been encouraging parishes to move from maintaining parish attendance numbers to moving to a mission of evangelization which would have us bring people back to attending weekly Mass. It is termed ‘maintenance to mission.’ Here in this parish many of you have worked on bringing folks back, and with some success. However, while we have brought some back, we have also lost some regulars, either through death or apathy. If going door to door would bring more folks back, my staff would be away from their desks and knocking on a lot of doors. The reality of today includes varying levels of violence and terrorism, and frankly folks are afraid to answer their door. Instead we have to understand that this type of evangelization is no longer effective and new means need to be explored.
Some larger non denominational (evangelical) protestant churches have moved beyond the ’bricks and mortar’ to the digital realm to draw people to their houses of worship, and for those who live well beyond that drive, they seek to offer the word of God to them in their living rooms or work spaces.
I hope you would agree this approach, while much different than past means for evangelization, has become fruitful in spreading the inspired word of God, both contained in the Old Testament as well as the Gospels in the New Testament. As an ordained priest I realize that there is no substitute for the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but I am also aware that there are a group of Catholics who can’t attend Mass because of age, illness or circumstance, and yet the archdiocese’s Catholic Television provides them with Mass and other religious programming… but there is no substitute for your home parish. Recognizing this, our parish has worked toward including a Digital Media presence through Catholic Traveling Prayers, Live Streamed Sunday 10:00am Mass, and our Facebook and Instagram daily homilies. Our Sunday homily last week got 600+ views, some who attended that Mass, and many more who did not attend Mass, but were nonetheless fed with God’s word. We have hired a college student in the position of Digital Media Director, and he is working along with me to edit and distribute the Sunday Mass homily (they are edited and uploaded to a YouTube channel), trimming the archived Masses (cutting out dead spaces at the beginning and end of the Mass), producing and editing mission outreach videos, and developing content for evangelization. Presently we are working on a documentary on the old ‘Our Lady of the Railway Chapel’ in South Station (opened in 1952 and closed in 1972). Next week we will be heading down to Raleigh, North Carolina for a Filmmakers Summit at Hope Evangelical Church. It is my hope to find greater uses for this digital media for our community and the local church. Next week I’ll discuss how you can help us.
The GRAND ANNUAL DRIVE is ongoing and we have made our first deposit. Thanks to everyone who has made a pledge. I would ask each family to make a pledge, as it covers personnel costs, maintenance costs, and the funding our various programs.