From January 6 through January 10, I was on retreat at my usual place, the St. Francis Convent of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in Mishawaka, Indiana. In my humble opinion it is the best place for a priest to take a retreat (which is why I have gone there four years in a row). The sisters main ministry is Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and they have a wonderful adoration chapel from which the grace of God overflows. Also the sisters are extremely hospitable and over the years I have developed friendships with them. Of course I’m not there to make friends, most of the week is spent in silence: eating alone, praying before the Blessed Sacrament, reading and sleeping. The first day I was only awake for 9 ½ hours. I am back and refreshed for a new decade in the Petersburg Parishes.
The parishes have been refreshed in the communications area also. Leo Munday has lead the charge, although many of us have helped in different ways to refresh our communications on three different fronts: the bulletin, email addresses, and the website.
The bulletin refresh happened for one main reason: Leo began using a more modern program to create the bulletin, one that is standard throughout the graphic design world. Since he would have to create the bulletin from scratch in the new program, we figured “why not refresh it while we’re at it?” I think it looks really good and is attractive. All the same material is present, but it may be in a slightly different place. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the bulletin, and hopefully you can easily find those items for which you are looking.
The email addresses are the second item that have gone through a refresh. Our staff email addresses did not have much consistency. Some staff members used personal email addresses, some only mentioned one parish when the staff member served all four, and other addresses were simply out of date. Therefore we tried to put some consistency in the email addresses. The new addresses are listed on page 7. You’ll notice that my email address and Bobbi’s are listed as the same. This is so that I don’t get more emails than necessary. Many emails are addressed to me from vendors, other parishes, or ones that staff members could better handle. Bobbi filters through these emails before sending them to me.
Finally the website(s) has been updated. Previously we had three websites, one for St. Joseph, one for St. John, and one for St. Lawrence and Immaculate Conception. They worked fine, but they weren’t very user friendly and were not the most attractive tool. We have launched a new website www.petersburgparishes.org! It is mostly complete; there are still some sections that need finished, but we are at a point where it can be used. The website is the hub of our communications since everything can’t go into the bulletin. The website will have the most current information and most detailed explanation of many aspects of parish life. Also it will hopefully be a resource for people interested in the Catholic Church or returning after a long absence.
There are a lot of resources on the website including links to popular Catholic podcasts and websites along with some recommended books. We are in the process of developing our own content as well. I have been recording my Sunday Homilies which will be available on the website along with a link to listen to Fr. Jarred’s homilies. Finally we are working on two last items. Hopefully by the spring or summer there will be a place on the website to set up automatic giving or to make a one-time gift. Many parishioners have requested it and we are working on it. Secondly in Lent I will be launching a podcast reflecting on the Catholic faith along with good-friend and parishioner Julia Monnin. More details to come on this.
Finally please know that this communication refresh is a work in progress. If you notice a glitch, typo on the website, missing information, or another error, please let Leo know. There is a button on the home page that leads to a short feedback form to let him know. A lot of hours have lead to this refresh and we hope that the bumps along the way get smoothed out over time. Thanks for your patience.
We have done all of this to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Everything we do comes with a conviction that Jesus Christ longs to be in a relationship with all of us, and our hearts yearn for Jesus Christ. We offer our work in communications to Jesus, that He may use them for the building of His Kingdom.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson