St. Anne Catholic Church
A "Few" Words from Fr. Robert
The New Pastoral Year Begins
Every August/September a new pastoral year begins. Families return from vacation, ministries begin anew, the parking lot is filled with children coming to school with big backpacks in the morning and after school, in the space next to the playground, there are almost continuous games of four square. As the new pastoral year begins, our campus is filled with happy sounds. In our current situation some things will stay the same and some things will, by necessity, have to change. Throughout the United States a new model of parish is emerging. It is a blend of both in-person and virtual, or online, worship, prayer, activities and ministries. Our Director of Stewardship, Kimberly Kaup and I have watched several webinars from parishes across the country on how to create a holy and effective blend between an in-person and virtual parish church community. Because we had a streaming platform before the pandemic, we were a little ahead of the game. Next week I will be meeting virtually with the Parish Council to discuss ideas on how we can continue to enhance our common life - both in person and virtually.
Our Beautiful School
Things at St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School are going great! There is the usual back-to-school excitement in the air, and our children and young adults are happy to get back into a routine. Yes, they are happy to be back. Because of the quality and expertise of our faculty and administration, our school is able to offer both online and in-person classes. While the number is fluid, around 10 percent of our students and their families opted to take classes online. There is a happy but not casual spirit in our school when it comes to staying healthy and safe. All of our students and staff wear masks all day. Even our little ones have learned to wear their masks filled with cartoon characters and sports team logos. The students and staff take social distancing seriously and our hallways during class are not overcrowded because dismissals are staggered. Traffic patterns are clearly marked on the floors of the corridors. Everything is wiped down after each class and there are hand washing stations almost wherever you glance. Each morning an army of volunteers and staff take the temperatures of everyone who comes into the building. I am confident that we are taking every possible precaution to keep our students and staff safe. I am also confident that if there should be a health concern for our students and staff, our faculty and administration could almost instantaneously and successfully revert to an online model which would continue to serve the needs of our students well, just like they did last March. Things are good in our beautiful school.
Sound Systems Upgrade
As you may or may not know the main component of our sound system in church died almost a year ago. The company who services it (Columbus Tape and Video) gave us a replacement which was being discarded from the Muscogee County School District. It’s good but it’s not perfect. You can almost tell when it is going to rain because you start hearing a crackling sound both in church and the online broadcast. Before this sound system dies too, we have decided to upgrade all of the sound systems in our church building. You may not know it but there are five complete systems: Visitation Hall, the Commons Area, our Chapel, the main church and the audio system which feeds our streaming platform. This upgrade is long overdue, especially because of our important online presence. It is going to take two weeks to complete the upgrade. Each area will be considered a different project and we will try and take as much of the cost from our operating account as possible. The rest will be taken from our reserve account or “rainy day fund.” When the cost of all the different projects are added together the grand total is just over $21,000.
Fr. Noel Update
Fr. Noel is now in a rehab and is doing well considering what he has been through. He likes Piedmont North and is grateful for the good care that he is receiving. Tuesday was his 72nd birthday. The friars and some people from St. Benedict the Moor met in the back of Piedmont to wave to him and sing happy birthday. We also brought him one of his favorite treats, a strawberry milkshake from Bruster’s. I wish we could be together for his birthday but we are all very excited that he pulled through the difficult times and is on the mend. Keep those prayers coming. 
For the past several months we have been using our parish bulletin as a worship aid with the prayers and readings of the Mass. With the next bulletin we will once again begin to offer more information about parish life and spiritual growth. The mass intentions, collection totals and attendance totals will be included. We will continue to print a limited number of bulletins but assure you that it will be available in an electronic format and posted to our Facebook Page and website, and emailed out to everyone in our database on Fridays. 
St. Anne Outreach
St. Anne Outreach continues its 40-year tradition of serving those in need. During the pandemic we kept the doors open and expanded our food distribution program even though the majority of Outreach volunteers were forced to stay home because they were at greater risk. The program was saved by the hard work of our dedicated teachers’ assistants who took the place of the volunteers. On a couple of occasions the parish maintenance staff and office staff also went over and helped. Right now the two main areas of concern in our community are effective food distribution and rent/utility assistance. Many of these programs are done virtually to reduce the risk to staff. Our Center has received several grants to assist with these challenging times and is in the process of applying for more. I am so grateful to Katie Byers and the entire Outreach staff, past and present, who allow us to be such a positive influence in the community.