Saturday, October 07, 2017

Our Team's Plan

I love it when a plan comes together!  That was the tagline for The A-team, a goofy television show decades ago.  But it comes to mind now as I look back at last weekend.  What a great time!   Even the weather cooperated with our every specification, and made for a glorious Fall Festival for us and many of our neighbors.

Much of the day I spent starting conversations with people I had not previously met, or had only seen in passing.  It was a great opportunity for that, since nobody was in a hurry, and people were moving about in little groups, usually their families, but often also their friends.  This provided great context to help me get to know them, and remember them next time.  If enough of us from the parish expressed a friendly interest in them, that’s the best way to make sure there will be a next time.

Quite the plan it was, too.  While Divine Providence made the day and the weather inviting, our Fall Festival Genius Committee put things together with care; it was easy to see the fruits of all their labors.  Jasmine Kuzner, Maureen Dewey, Laura Konda, Lauren Draley, and Kristin Schrader, (l-r, below) even sported matching shirts to help people who needed them, find them! 

The “genius” part was finding something for everybody to do – and finding somebody for everything that needed doing.  I was truly amazed at the number and variety of people who helped out with everything.  To all of you who put your time and energy into making one of our events happen, know that you were the face of the parish that day for untold numbers of people.
Now for the follow up: in coming weeks, make a point of saying hello to someone you saw or helped or met at the Festival, someone you didn’t know or chat with before this.  As I pointed out a few weeks ago, it is a community builder, not a fundraiser.  But you can’t build a community in a single afternoon, no matter how gorgeous.  This is a great way to meet the people who are willing to meet us.  To bring them further into the mystery of our life in Christ is the goal of our being here in the first place; and that is a plan we all want to see come together.
Speaking of things coming together, let me commend you all on your progress with the music of the new Mass setting.   Since the new translation of the Missal was introduced at Advent of 2011, we have mastered two English-language settings of the commons of the Mass, the parts that recur at each Mass.   I have always thought we should have at least three English settings in our repertoire, and new music director Chris Mueller had composed this one.   September is the perfect time for the change, since we have been using the same music for months, since Corpus Christi in early June, and we have more than two months until we change to the music we use during Advent. 
It takes time for liturgical music to become familiar and integrated into our worship, but you already are well on your way to learning it.  Soon I think you will agree that it is excellent, every bit up to the standards of the two setting we had been using.   Some parishes are still using settings written for the old texts, with the new texts jammed in.  That is musically bad, and liturgically even worse.  Here at Saint Bernadette, we don’t settle for less than excellent in our worship of God; that too is all part of the plan.
Monsignor Smith