POP Planning Tips

 August is a month of beginnings and a time of reacting to a lot of things for which folks didn’t plan ahead. Last-minute shopping for school clothes and college students’ rooms and equipment for the new teams or bands continues until the last minute…and sometimes beyond. August is one of our great “next year I’m going to start sooner” or “next year I’m going to do it differently” times.

Almost no one, however, can out-plan or out-anticipate the Prince of Peace worship and administration ministries. They were in my office the second week of June with their proposals for Christmas schedules in 2016 and 2017. When Christmas day or eve fall on a weekend, does the traditional Christmas schedule or the ordinary Sunday schedule take precedence? By contrast, Ash Wednesday is easy: we just offer services all day long. And Ash Wednesday always falls, conveniently, on Wednesday. 
And so, in the spirit of planning ahead, I offer you a few church-suggestions for personal use or to share with others…

  • If you’re expecting your first baby, you’re asked to come to parents’ sessions to learn about baptism. Why not come during the third trimester of pregnancy? No crying infant, no babysitting issues.
  • If you are married, calculate your upcoming wedding anniversaries. If you see a milestone in the next couple of years (50th, 25th even 10th), discuss how you’d like to celebrate  and if you’d like the Church to have a role in it. People actually reserve the Mary Chapel up to 4 years in advance for silver and golden anniversaries. Remember: you can’t use the excuse that you didn’t see it coming…
  • If a trip to the hospital for surgery is in the works, plan to receive the Anointing of the Sick at one of our three monthly celebrations or by asking the priest after any Mass. Don’t wait until you check into the hospital!
  • Lots of folks are in the habit of going to confession during Advent and Lent, right before Christmas and Easter. The words “lots of folks” is a clue here. Mark your calendar and shift your annual or semi-annual Reconciliation to another time, say August and January. 
  • Nearly all of us believe in eternal life. Sadly, most of us are living like there is no death. Save your loved ones a lot of grief, burden and conflict by making some or all of your arrangements now. Our Pastoral Care ministry is ready to help you look at and prepare for your final journey, even if you are still in young adulthood.
  • Speaking of heaven, did you pray today? Daily prayer and Sunday Eucharist are the best ways to get ready…