2016 State of Communion
By Father Michael Forge
"As is my custom, this weekend [October 23] I will deliver my annual “State of the Communion Address.”
As you know, this is an examination of the current state of our parish as it pertains to the Physical, Financial and Spiritual health of our community. So, as always, I’ll begin with the physical state first:
Physical Condition of Parish
- We haven’t had any major construction projects this past year, though we have put together an eight phase remodeling plan of the entire school and religious education facilities. The school has been busy raising money to begin phase one which will be an overhaul of the Junior High wing, our oldest wing in the building. We hope to begin construction in the Summer of 2017.
- Thanks to a $12,000 grant from the Knights of Columbus, we were able to install badly needed partitions in our primary wing restrooms.
- The McMahon house that we purchased last year has been renamed “The Prayer House” and extensive interior work was done over the course of the past twelve months. It’s now utilized for HS 101 classes, Shephard’s Café gatherings, adult small group meetings and our Staff meetings.
- We continue to replace AC units as they go out and this current year has seen a few of them go out as always.
Financial Condition of the Parish
Financially our parish continues to operate in the black thanks to your generosity.
Sunday Collections were up nearly $100,000 from the previous year’s donations! This is due to your generosity and improved on line giving. Our debt as of June 30th was $532,690 a decrease of $314,000 from the previous year. We’re now looking at a May 2018 payoff, all things staying the same.
We are still accumulating funds for use from the Diocesan Capital Campaign. We have around $135,000 at our disposal toward the needed $250,000 for the new pipes, the last item in our case study for the campaign.
Once again, the Church, including the school, underwent its annual Financial Review and the CPA’s had no recommendations for us. That is to say, our records and reporting are in excellent shape!
We have placed in the narthex a copy of the condensed Income and Expense Report and Balance Sheet Statement for fiscal year 2016 for both the church and the school. These are also available on our web site.
So, we continue to be prudent stewards of your contributions and we work toward safeguarding our financial future as a parish.
Okay, enough about the Financial Condition of the parish…
Spiritual Condition of the Parish
Now, I wish to address the Spiritual condition of our parish:
As you know we said goodbye on January 1st to Prici Mahaffey the Director of Family Life who retired after 16 years at Mary Immaculate and we said hello to Rita Ford as her replacement. Rita has recently launched the Small Faith Community initiative which will draw us all into closer relationship with others in our parish.
We also said goodbye to our Director of Evangelization/RCIA, Beth Crouch, who relocated to Indiana where her husband took a job in Development. On November 1st, we’ll say hello to Adelae Tomlinson who will take over the department and continue the many programs offered by that office.
Last year I introduced a new program called Arise to you, led by Tori Harris. During the year, the accompanying curriculum entitled HS 101 received the Nihil Obstat from now Lubbock Bishop Elect Bob Coerver and the Imprimatur from now Cardinal Designate Kevin Farrell. The manuscript has been copy edited and is in the final stages of graphic design before we go forward with publication. It is also being translated into Spanish at this very moment. The objective is to share this material with other parishes in the Diocese and even in the United States or beyond.
We also introduced Perpetual Adoration here at Mary Immaculate and added new, real, votive candles for our devotion and prayer intentions.
Finally, as you know, Fr. Zach Webb was assigned to the formation team at Holy Trinity Seminary and we welcomed newly ordained Fr. Daniel Rendón as our new Parochial Vicar.
God is good and God is blessing us at MI!
Last year we hosted the St. Luke Production of Therese: the Story of a Soul, which was well attended and this past Friday night we hosted the production of Faustina: Divine Mercy.
Our HS 101 Class has had over 100 people attend during the year with several people coming in from out of state.
Our Arise nights continue to grow each month and people’s lives are being changed through these evenings of adoration, confession and intercession.
Also, the Hispanic community began monthly “Adoremos” which is and hour of adoration and praise and worship music in Spanish.
Religious Ed and Youth Ministry Departments
Our Religious Education and Youth Ministry programs continue to thrive and provide formation for over 1,100 youth.
Our Youth Group is now consistently getting 20 to 30 youth each week that take an active role in assisting with the Confirmation program.
Parochial school ministry
We currently have 486 students enrolled.
We had one teacher retire; one relocate and one recently leave due to family reasons.
Again, we conducted a school survey this summer which has given us much data and feedback. The School Advisory Council is actively reviewing this data and pursuing appropriate responses.
Our school families and parish staff really stepped up and rallied around fourth grade teacher Heidi Smith and her girls this past summer as we came to grips with the tragic killing of Sgt. Mike Smith, Heidi’s husband, and member here at Mary Immaculate and St. Ann’s. I could not have been more proud of our response to that horrendous moment in our history.
Once again, Thomas presented an excellent Christmas Concert.
Thomas continues to serve as Diocesan Music Director for about a dozen special Masses for the bishop during the year.
Family Life Ministry
We hosted another diocesan wide Engaged Encounter Weekend where couples from around various parishes in our diocese.
We’ve trained several new Sponsor Couples.
I already mentioned the Small Faith Communities.
Uniquely, this year, we’ve seen an abnormal amount of funerals. Rita and her team have managed to get through them all with the grace of God.
Last but not least
Our Senior Citizen and Outreach Services Director, Sarah, decided to be a full time stay at home mom.
However, our EM’s to the Sick and Homebound continue to serve our parishioners.
Our Addiction Recover Ministry celebrated its second year anniversary.
And we had our 5th annual and growing Senior Expo in August headed up by volunteers.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of good that has gone on this past year!
Mary Immaculate Parish is alive and well in the Spirit! We have weekly Adult Ed classes, prayer group meetings, monthly 24 hour adoration on First Fridays, two daily masses, one daily communion service, eight weekend masses, Confession offered every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning, a daily rosary group, weekly praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a happy and dedicated staff and wonderful parishioners!
Thank you all for being such wonderful people to serve! God bless you all and God bless Mary Immaculate Parish!" - Father Michael Forge