Fr. Terry’s Sharing…
Memory – what a treasure God gave us. In relationship to funerals, I have often reflected on how out of all of God’s creation, that is one complex gift God gave to human beings. I am watching everyday right in front of my eyes, my Mom struggling and her frustration with remembering people, events, and things. It is a little scary because as I age, I find myself having days or moments of memory loss. I wonder if I could ask for early retirement (lol)? And yet throughout my life to this point, I have always considered God’s gift of memory one of my greatest treasures. It has enriched my priesthood and my life in powerful ways.
Memory can be broken down to many areas, one of which is communication. Communication in a parish is necessary for so many reasons…especially in building us up as the Family of God, the Church. It was recently shared with me that present day parishes are made up with five generations of people. It is roughly:
- 9% the Greatest Generation
- 24% the Baby Boomers
- 20% Generation X
- 22% the Millenniums (Generation Y)
- 26% the I-Gens (Generation Z)
Because of all the technology, never has there been such a diversity of how we communicate. As a parish, we need to learn and grow in how we communicate to meet everyone’s needs. An example is our information screens before Mass to share what is going on in our parish. Naturally there were a few people who questioned why, what to them was a distraction. Yet I also had some parents tell me that their high schoolers mentioned something that was happening in the parish. This surprised them and they asked their children where they got the information. It was from the screens. That is why to try to reach out to all five generations, we need to have several different ways to get information about the parish out.
With this in mind, I have set two goals for myself and the parish. It will be the start of what I hope will be a growth in our parish in this area of communication.
The first one is our bulletin. The most frequent feedback I receive is that it is too busy…too full of information overload. Also, how often the same thing gets conveyed over several weeks. It is my intention to reformat the bulletin in the weeks ahead.
The second one is our newsletter. I really feel it should be devoted to telling the Good News of what is happening in our parish.
Please feel free to give feedback or tar and feather your pastor. If you chose the latter, I will ask Fr. Tom to stand by to sacramentally forgive you in case I cannot talk (Ha). While I might not be able to implement all your ideas and feedback, I do welcome it because St. Michael is our parish and all of us should be actively involved in forming who we are in service to God.