Planting the Easter Plants
Next Saturday we will have a planting and landscaping event to plant the Easter plants and beautify the front of the church, which obviously needs some tender loving care. At one time it must have been beautifully landscaped, but now it needs some work. Many of the azaleas and bushes are overgrown or dying out. The whole area needs to be trimmed up and replanted. Let's gather at 9 a.m. If we have a number of volunteers, the work should be done in about an hour or so. Please bring a shovel and a rake and any other tools you might think will be useful. To let us know you are coming, please sign up using the form found on the homepage of our website, www.stannecsg.com
On Parish Life
All of us have the desire to return to our pre-Covid life. I can’t wait to eat out in a restaurant or go to a movie, if that ever happens again. I would ditch the mask in a heartbeat if I thought it was safe for myself or others to do so, but current CDC guidance suggests that we continue to wear them and I will. We are starting to get requests to use our parish facilities for good and holy things. Alas, the diocesan guidelines have not changed and neither have social distancing guidelines from the government. So, for the time being, we will have to continue to forego having meetings or encounters on our campus in the hope that one day the “good ol’ days” will return. There is no one more than I who wants to get our beautiful parish back in action. For now charity and the common good ask us to continue to wait.
Newt Aaron and the ELC
Two weeks ago I wrote a letter to Bishop Parkes requesting permission to engage Mr. Newt Aaron to help us move forward with the Early Learning Center. Mr. Aaron has been involved in many substantial projects near and far. One of his most accomplished projects is the National Infantry Museum. He is very respected in the community and has a wealth of relationships which will help us accomplish our dream of making the D. Abbott Turner Early Learning Center a reality. The current site for the Early Learning Center is on the grassy triangle where the Pacelli High School sign is located on Trinity Drive. This is one of the last main projects of the very successful Capital Campaign which, in the end, raised just over $6.5 million and has enabled us to accomplish many very needed projects for St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School. Of course, it is our goal to give a complete accounting of the Capital Campaign to the parish at a future date.
Food Glorious Food
For many months now on Tuesdays and Thursdays the parish has been providing the friars with good meals and we have been most grateful. This helps us have time to prepare for evening meetings and enjoy one another’s company. We take turns cooking the other nights of the week with mixed success. There has not been one bad meal from the parish and the variety has been amazing. Some people have even shared their ethnic foods with us and we have really enjoyed them. I think we have the best Hungarian cooks in Columbus feeding the friars. As we move forward, there are a number of dates available. If you have the time and would like to feed your friars, simply go online here
to sign up. Thanks in advance.
Take a deep breath. A recent “conversation” I had with a parishioner reminded me that the best way into a human heart is to communicate peacefully. It was obvious to me that the woman was just burdened, frazzled, or both. Things were falling apart all over the place, the kids were falling behind in school and virtual school was becoming next to impossible. Her part-time job was gone and now the family had to count pennies just to keep things going. This caused tension or, worse yet, distance between her and her husband. When she approached me it was about the lack of paper towels in the bathroom, but everything else fell out, including the church was too warm, the seats are not comfortable, people look at her when her kids are a little rambunctious, etc. Human being that I am, my first knee jerk response was to defend myself and the parish, but that was exactly the opposite of what I was supposed to do. A wise old priest told me, when they talk louder you talk lower, when they talk quicker, you talk slower. Take a deep breath, take a deep breath, then take a deep breath and remember it may be about life and not the paper towels. In my conversation I tried all of those things but to no avail. The pain and the exhaustion just kept coming out. I tried to talk her down but was unable to do so and the conversation ended as badly as it had started. She simply stormed away frustrated. I put her on my nightstand (prayer list) as the paper towel lady because I didn’t know her name. I didn’t see her for a couple weeks (she admitted that she was hiding from me), but then I bumped into her on Easter Sunday. The encounter was completely different and she was much more peace-filled. The whole family was in their Easter best and I heard about how the Easter bunny had come to their house. When we have moments like this let’s do our best to take a deep breath and remember that it is probably not about the “paper towels.” When we are approached with anger don’t let it stick, don’t respond in kind, and try your best to keep your defenses down and listen as it all comes out. Just last week we had a chance to process that eventful encounter and when we were done I asked her if I could write about it in the bulletin. I felt there were lessons to be learned for all of us in that conversation. She readily agreed and approved this account. Let’s continue to do our best to live peace-filled lives even when there are no paper towels.
I think you know what’s going to be next. Trust me, we are so blessed to have so many young families in our parish and so many young families that go to the extra effort to get their kids up and dressed for Mass every Sunday. Yes, they can be antsy. Yes, some of them talk or sing during Mass. Yes, on occasion one of them escapes their parents and runs down the aisle or out into the Commons Area. Thank God for Cheerios, which we peacefully vacuum up every Monday night. On Easter one little boy thought he was in a garden so he presented his mortified mom with a hand full of lilies. Yes, to all those things, but I say thanks be to God. moms and dads know that if it gets too bad all they have to do is walk out into the Commons Area and give the kid a break. Please don’t let the kids bother you! Think of your kids or your grandchildren when they are a little disruptive. I hope that we never miss a chance to thank the young moms and dads who bring their kids to church. Please make it a point to thank them personally should the chance present itself. They are all heroes in my book. It is my most fervent hope that St. Anne Church will be a warm and welcoming family church. May it always be so.