The highlights below are far from an exhaustive list of the things happening in our parishes. While the schedule is different when school is not in session, things haven’t slowed down as there are many projects in motion.
The name Midtown Catholic is beginning to appear a little more frequently in our bulletin articles and online. On the first weekend of July, our websites will direct viewers to http://www.midtowncatholic.church, and we will have one bulletin for both parishes. As a reminder, the names of our parishes are not going away. The Midtown Catholic name merely refers to those things which our parishes do together.
Eric Keisling, our new Director of Finance and Operation, continues to immerse himself in the workings of both parishes. Essentially, he the business manager for both parishes. As part of the Pastor’s Senior Leadership Team, Eric handles the operational and administrative aspects of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thomas More parishes to align with each parish’s overall mission and vision. He is responsible for the finance, administration, human resources, and general operations of both parishes. The position exists so that the Pastor may focus on the overall leadership of the two parishes.
Rachel Bielstein, our Coordinator of Religious Education, continues to work out the details of the new version of our Religious Education program, which will be geared more towards family formation. I believe this will become one of the more attractive assets of our parishes and not merely a consolation for those families who don’t attend our Catholic schools.
We’ve begun to implement a new database for our parishes called One Church Software. We’ll use this platform for all of our communications, volunteer scheduling, event registration, record keeping, and a whole lot more for both parishes. We’ll begin transferring the data for St. Thomas More this summer and St. Joan of Arc at a later date. We’ll continue to keep our old database active until January 2022.
St. Joan of Arc
We’ve been busy getting rooms ready to welcome the Dual Language Academy to our school building. The DLA should be all moved in by the end of this month. Merging our schools over the next few years will bring financial stability to our parish. If we do this right, it will also allow us to welcome new families into our parish who are looking for a home parish.
The Parish Council has been working on creating a new set of bylaws. At the end of this month, the council will ratify the new guidelines. These directives mean taking a new approach to how the council is run and mean we’ll need about 3 or 4 new members to the group. Details to come.
The trees around the campus have been cleaned up. Some of them were carrying disease and some were just dead.
St. Thomas More
We’ve been working with Leo Daly Architects since last fall to study our options for a new Parish Center. I haven’t spoken much about it because we were looking at needs and options. Initially, I wasn’t convinced a Parish Center was a priority, but after being here for a year, I see there is clearly a need for office and meeting space. We have made no firm plans, but we did send some sketches to the city planning office to
see what options we might have. We will be reviewing the city’s response this week.
The big tree green tree in front of the St. Thomas More rectory will be removed this week. Normally, I wouldn’t be in favor of cutting down trees, but this one is getting slightly out of hand.
-Fr. Jeff Lorig, Pastor