Friends, my recent letter on the “state of the parish” generated much feedback and led to many in-person and email conversations with parishioners. These conversations brought to light a wide range of emotions, opinions, and suggestions – both pro and con. Some people are choosing to seek other church options while others are committed to helping CCUP move forward. I appreciate everyone who was willing to share their thoughts with me over the last couple months.
To help encourage further conversation, our Pastoral Council is initiating listening sessions with our permanent community which will take place in the early months of 2023. A professional facilitator will conduct focus groups to hear more from our parishioners about what we are doing well and what we could improve upon. Stay posted for more information in the next month or two.
As I mentioned in my previous letter, I recognize the importance of our music ministry and the need to move our search for a new music minister forward in a timely and collaborative manner. Recently, a small group of permanent community and students met to discuss the next steps for our music ministry program. Given the difficulty of finding a part-time musician that meets the standards of music that our parish is accustomed to, we have decided to take a slower approach. We are fortunate to have gifted musicians who can fill in for the winter and spring months as we continue to determine next steps.
Beginning in the New Year, Ben Tittl, who has been playing a number of our 4:30 Masses, will lead the 11 a.m. Mass as well as some of our 4:30 Masses. Kelly Nester, who has been playing many of our 11 a.m. Masses, will share the 4:30 Masses with Ben, as well as play most of our funerals and weddings. Drew Smith, the Director of Music at Gesu parish, has been leading the student group at our 6 p.m. Mass and will continue to do so through the spring semester. I want to especially thank Anthony Inkrott and all the student and permanent community cantors and instrumentalists who have come forward to lead us in music during this interim period.
Thank you all for your patience as we navigate these times together. In a season that celebrates hope, I am filled with hope that there are bright days ahead for our wonderful parish.