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March 2011

February 2011

Which Virtues for Lent?

Our survey is new and there are not too many responses yet, but the initial results are actually a little funny. So far temperance, generosity and abstinence are coming up blank. Do you think we should talk about the virtues no one votes for instead of everyone's favorite?

Take the survey from our parish website and help us plan the Lenten retreat.

Mass Attendance Religious Education Students


Some interesting and challenging mass attendance statistics are emerging this year. Overall mass attendance between Holy Cross School students and Holy Cross Religious Education students is approximately the same, around 60-65% on any given weekend.

Some religious education classes meet on Sunday and others meet on Tuesday evening. Several years ago we looked to see if there was a significant difference between mass attendance of the Tuesday vs. Sunday groups and suprisingly, there was none (at the end of the year). This year, however, there seems to be a clear difference between the two groups, with the Sunday sessions having much higher mass attendance than the Tuesday session groups and Sunday groups, 74% vs. 40%.

The challenges remain to increase the overal rates of mass attendance for all students. The highly committed group of Sunday religious education students and parents have the highest rate of mass attendance of any group. Congratulations!


Passing the Basket or Ushers Using Long-Handled Baskets


OK, I know this will really date me, but here's what I remember about the collection from my youth. The first collection was taken up by passing a small metal plate lined with green felt down each row. The typical expected donation was 25 cents. This I think came from the old "pew tax." An usher intercepted the plate at the end of the row, spilt the quarters into the collection basket he carried, and started the plate down the next row. I don't remember whether the second collection, for which we received envelopes, was taken up with long handled baskets, or we passed them ourselves. I remember both practices, however.

The second collection was generally for the parish and support of the diocese; it would be interesting to see when so many non-diocesan collections came into being, but I'm guessing it was after the reorganization of the USCCB. Amounts given by each family were published in a monthly magazine which was sponsored by local businesses and available at all the masses. There was a small group of more prosperous and/or more generous parishioners who gave more, but most families contributed $5 or $10 in the second collection. I wonder what the 1950's value of those dollars would be today?

Anyhow, back to the question at hand: to pass or not to pass the basket. It seems to me that although the ushers generally dislike the new procedure, that it is generally more efficient - especially as people become accustomed to looking for the basket and passing it on. It's a bit inconvenient when each row is not filled with parishioners, as the basket must be handed on to someone in the next row, but the rows in the gymatorium are too wide for the ushers to reach the center with the long-handled baskets.

Here's the breakdown of the current tabulation with 120 responses:


Two Lenten Days of Reflection This Year at Holy Cross

Forgive for Good            

        Sunday, April 10th 7 PM in the Gymatorium

Dr. Fred Luskin, best-selling author (Forgive for Good) and co-founder of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project will help us learn what forgiveness is and how to do it. Don't miss the opportunity to hear him and meet him.

Have you ever taken something too personally? Have you ever continued to blame the person who hurt you for how bad you felt? Have you created a grievance story? We're told over and over that we should, even must, forgive, but rarely are we helped how to do it. Dr. Luskin will help us learn.

Forgiveness IS NOT condoning unkindness.

Forgiveness IS NOT forgetting that something painful happened.

Forgiveness IS NOT excusing poor behavior.

Forgiveness IS NOT denying or minimizing your hurt.

Forgiveness DOES NOT mean reconciling with the offender.

Forgiveness DOES NOT mean you give up having feelings. (from Forgive for Good)


A Virtue or Two I'd Like More Of

        Thursday, March 3rd 6:30 PM

Join us for discussion, prayer and insight into the role virtue plays in our daily spiritual journey. Help us select the specific virtues you would like to consider:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Faith Seeking Understanding Sessions During Lent


Join with us beginning Ash Wednesday evening and continuing for the first four weeks of Lent in reading and reflection on the Last Things, Final Judgment, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. What are the Church's actual teachings on these matters and how are these things important in my daily prayer and spiritual journey?

We will use an accessible, recently published book by Fr. Benedict Groeschel to jump start our prayer and discussion - "After This Life: What Catholics Believe About What Happens Next." Call Eileen in the Parish Office to reserve your copy.

See you in Lent!

Roman Missal New Translation in Print...


A sure sign that the new translation of the Roman Missal is truly on its way is the announcement from the USCCB that pre-orders for the missals will be accepted next month.

As you remember, the new translations are to be used beginning the First Sunday of Advent next year. I laughed when I checked on their webpage and discovered they have a countdown clock to the day of implementation.