We thank Bishop Chad for coming to our parish and celebrating Mass with us and also praying the Holy Hour.
The meeting following the Holy Hour was productive. Wil Courtney gave a brief summary of the financial report which was printed in the bulletin last week.
Rich Meyer gave a synopsis of the ALICE Training we had Jan 19, and also of the Safe and Sacred meeting we had Jan 26 developing our emergency action plan.
Fr. Tom will write up the plan so that is it easy to follow with clear instructions as to what to do in case of an emergency.
Also brought up was our Zero Tolerance Policy of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes on the premise.
During the question and answer session with the Bishop, he clarified that if we do not do background checks and we have an incident at the parish or anywhere in the diocese, lawsuits would ensue which would cripple the diocese, and possible arrests and prison for the priest and bishop involved.
The Safe Environment Policies are non-negotiable; everyone who works or volunteers in the diocese must follow the policies of the diocese which come from the Dallas Charter.
The Dallas Charter was in 2002, in which the United States Conference of Bishops instituted protocols and policies for the United States clergy and employees.
Since this charter, we have eliminated most of the incidents of abuse from both laity and clergy, as the background checks and trainings train and empower the staff and volunteers to look at problems first and to act immediately.
The Bishop is hopeful that the universal meeting in Rome this February 21 – 24 will make important decisions so that these policies will put a stop to future scandals and abuse.
He also mentioned that our diocese will have a team come and evaluate our records to see if anything was missed during the lawsuit which ended in 2011.
Barb Tolliver does the background checks and will start training all the clergy, staff, and volunteers.
The Legion of Mary, Jodi Stack, gave a report of their activities in the parish to evangelize and help the parish and region grow. They will have their renewal of commitment, called ACIES, on Sunday afternoon March 24, and invited anyone interested in joining the Legion of Mary to contact any of the Legion members.
Fr. Tom gave a report on the Knights of Columbus stating that we will have a corporate communion honoring the Knights Feb 9 and a meal for those who are 4th degree Knights.
Fr. Tom also brought up the need for volunteers for the hospitality committee and also the need for ushers.
Volunteers are an essential part of the parish and we encourage parishioners from the parish and the region to give of their time and talent.
As Matthew Kelly pointed out, if every parish would increase their stewardship by just 1% it would make a dramatic difference.
I want to thank all the members of the pastoral council and all those who came to the Mass, Holy Hour, and meeting. Thank you for your Yes to Jesus!