As many may recall, last year we conducted a survey to seek views as to how we are doing as a parish and/or suggestions as to how we could improve the life of the community. It has taken the members of the PPC, Fr. John and I some time to collate and analyze the information that was gathered. Overall, there seemed to be satisfaction with what is happening in the parish. For that we are grateful. However, there were some issues that were raised by a number of parishioners which deserve comment.
Several parishioners asked if we could bring back the noon Mass on Sundays. Additionally, there were questions regarding having a Sunday evening Mass.
As to the noon Mass, it is very difficult to schedule this because the Filipinos celebrate their liturgy and reception from about 12:30 to 4:30 P.M. on the second Sunday of the month. Also, even when we had the noon Mass, we generally only had about fifty people in a church that can accommodate eight hundred people. The general rule of the Archdiocese of Boston is that any Masses in which the church is less than half-full should be considered for merger with another Mass. Also, we have baptisms on the third Sunday at 1:00 P.M.
As to celebrating Mass on Sunday evenings, the issue of whether that is truly needed as Immaculate Conception and Sacred Hearts Parishes already have Sunday evening Masses. Again, with the lack of growth in church attendance that we are experiencing, it does not seem to be advisable to be adding Masses.
There were also questions raised regarding the availability of social activities in the parish during the summer months. This is probably an even more important issue considering that the festival has been cancelled. As we have been noting in the bulletin and through other means, there is (this weekend) a parish barbeque after the 4:00 P.M. Mass on Saturday; and we will be holding Movie Nights on the Lawn beginning on June 24th. Hopefully, families and singles will come out for these events.
Also, our annual Vacation Bible School has become a great success with more and more children participating during the week. This will be held the first week of August.
If anyone has additional ideas, please let a Parish Council member or one of the priests know.
Food/ Meal Programs
There were some concerns raised about food/meal programs in the Malden. Some asked specifically about food programs for the elderly. We are currently trying to gather all the information available about programs and will publish the information when it has been gathered.
Parish Pastoral Council Membership
There were a number of parishioners who did not know who is on the council. Currently, the members wear a badge when at parish liturgies/social events. We are trying to decide upon a stronger system of identification. Some have suggested that we put pictures of members on the wall at the entrance of the church.
I am trying not to put permanent items of the walls so as to preserve a sense that this is sacred space. Sometimes, the entrance is so cluttered as it is that I do not want to put even more stuff there. But, we are open to your ideas as to how better to make the members known to all parishioners.
Thank you for all who did respond to the survey- and for patience in waiting for some responses. We hope to serve you better. So, please give us your thoughts and ideas.
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