Our 7:00 A.M. daily (Monday through Friday) Mass is off to a good start, with about 20 people regularly attending, and I’m sure attendance will grow as word spreads…
Speaking of Mass, and given that we have so many young families at St. Charles, beginning on Sunday, September 14, our 8:45 A.M. Mass will become a Children’s Mass, especially dedicated to them and to their families. Children (of Kindergarten age and older) will be invited to come to the front of the church for the Gospel and for the homily, which will be especially geared to them. The Children’s Choir will also sing at this Mass. This will take the place of the Childrens’ Liturgy of the Word which was previously done at the 8:45 and 11:00 A.M. Masses. Of course, Religious Education classes and youth groups (On the WAY and WAY) also kick off next week!
Our parish received an unexpected blessing when I was called last week by the staff at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and asked to host two seminarians for their “PFE” (Pastoral Field Education) throughout this academic year. They are Deacon Branson Hipp of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, and Sean Koehr of our own diocese. They will be here on weekends to gain a variety of pastoral experience. It is a privilege for us to assist in the formation of our future priests!
The arrival of the month of September means that our Parish Finance and Pastoral Councils will begin to meet again, after a Summer break. According to Church (Canon) law, each parish is required to have a Finance Council which meets regularly to advise the pastor or administrator in the administration of parish funds and goods, according to canonical and diocesan norms. Our Finance Council is made up of parishioners with great dedication to the parish and impressive financial, accounting and management expertise. Also, following the recommendation of Church (Canon) law, and the requirement of diocesan law, each parish in the Diocese of Arlington must also have a Pastoral Council which meets regularly to advise the pastor, helping to foster parish pastoral activity. In appointing parishioners to the pastoral council I seek men and women who are active in the parish, who will be vocal about parish pastoral programs, and who reflect the diversity of our parish. I have asked the previous members of both councils to continue serving and have appointed some new members as well. (Their names will be listed on our soon-to-be-updated parish website.) I thank them all for supporting me and for serving our parish. Of course, any parishioner is always welcome–indeed, has the right, according to Canon Law–to make known to me their opinions on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, whether in person or in writing.
Responding to numerous appeals, beginning Monday, September 15, the parish will offer weekly adult faith formation talks. This “semester” Fr. James and I will lead “Spiritual Life Boot Camp”: a series of talks on the bases of the spiritual life, from “How to Get More out of Mass” to “How to Practice Mental Prayer” to “How to Discern Spirits” and more. The full list/schedule of topics is available in this bulletin and online. I remain,
Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Don Planty