Updates from Fr. Meyer and Fr. Mahan

July 31, 2021

 Dear Parishioners of St. Lawrence, St Mary’s and St. Teresa,

 After 24 Days, how are things Going?  We are blessed!  After 24 days we have had a powerful experience of community, mercy and being instruments of God’s grace.  In that time we have: visited the sick and shut in, offered 12 hours of confession, established a new Mass Schedule and celebrated Mass in all seven Churches, visited with the hospital, 3 food pantries, the 3 KofC Councils, the Jail, the Pregnancy Care Center, attended 3 Chicken Dinners (St. Paul’s still to come), visited 2 Vacation Bible Schools, were in a festival parade, worked on relic displays, hosted youth nights at every parish,  went to King’s Island with the youth and young adults, celebrated 5 funerals, had religious education meetings, parish and finance council meetings, and met thousands of people after Masses, dinners, church events and in the community.

What have you learned?  We have experienced that God is ALIVE and He is doing amazing things among His people.  You are so blessed.  Thank you so much, each one of you, for being engaged, involved and offering so many of your gifts and talents to the Lord.

What can we do to help?  Keep praying, keep being faithful, get involved, offer your gifts, see something and do it, be an initiator, go to daily Mass, spend time in adoration, invite your friends and family to come back to Mass, trust in the Lord, keep being open, cling to what is essential and not to what is comfortable.

What is happening in the offices?  There is a lot of work going on, that is for sure.  We have great people in place and they are dedicated!  The reason we have been able to get to as many places, and be available, is due to our committed staff at all the parishes, who know our people, make things happen and get things done so we, the priests, can do what we should be doing- being with and serving God’s people.

However, we are going to be making some important adjustments in the way we serve through our offices.  After talking to the staff and consulting with many of the parish and finance council members we will be bringing new life, synergy and effectiveness to our office staff by some consolidation.

 So, what is happening?  We are going to unite the office staff of St. Teresa, St. Mary’s and St. Lawrence into a common office at St. Lawrence for these three parishes.  The office at All Saints will remain open, so there will be two main offices, one in the north (at All Saints) and one in the south (at St. Lawrence).  However, while reducing our office into two, we will also be expanding our reach.

~Currently our offices all have different hours of operations on different days in different locations- beginning on August 9th, the combined offices will be open every day from 8am-4pm in two locations (St. Lawrence and All Saints).  You no longer need to think and try to recall the office hours.  If our best ability is availability, we believe our office should be open every day.

~Currently our offices are not open when people are on our properties for Saturday or Sunday Masses, our highest traffic hours.  This will change; we will have office staff/trained volunteers available at St. Mary’s, St. Teresa and St. Lawrence during the Weekend Mass times.  So even though the main office will be at St. Lawrence during the week, on the weekend satellite offices will be available for people to have needs met, questions answered and opportunities for ministry when they are already on site.  Our best ability is availability, and we want to use it!

What will be the new hours?  The newly combined office of St. Teresa, St. Mary’s and St. Lawrence, located at St. Lawrence, will be open Monday – Friday from 8am-4pm.  The All Saints office, located at the St. John Campus for St. Joseph, St. John, St. Paul and St. Martin will also be open Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm.

Also, at St. Mary’s, St. Teresa, and St. Lawrence there will be a satellite office open one hour prior to and one hour after weekend Masses.

What will I find at this new office ministry on Saturday night or Sunday morning at St. Teresa, St. Lawrence or St. Mary’s?  A smiling face, answers to common questions about baptisms, weddings, Mass stipends, schedules, religious education, rentals etc.

What will happen to our office buildings at St. Mary’s and St. Teresa?  We hope that they get used a lot.  We hope and dream that those who are currently using them for meetings, recovery groups, prayer groups, KofC, etc., will keep doing so and that even more will desire to do the same.  We do not see this new way of ministry as a hindrance to ministry but possibly an accelerator.

Why is this happening?  Something new is happening here in Dearborn County, and this something new is demanding us to act and trust and think in ways we have not in times past.  We have realized quickly that being present to 4 office staffs is not possible.  Every parish having their own office staff is normal, traditional and how we have always done it, but something new is happening here.  So, our staff needs to look and operate differently.

We are people in communion, union, conversation and relationship. Having people all over the county working by themselves is not as effective as bringing them together, sharing resources, and collaborating on best practices!

Are our parishes being merged?  Will our parish remain separate? No, the parishes are not being merged. There are four parishes in Dearborn County, we are just looking for the best way to organize and run them with two priests.  To be VERY CLEAR the financial management of the four parishes will be separate and accounted for.

What about added travel time?  We realize that this might ask some of you to travel a few more miles to get to the office during weekday hours – Monday through Friday 8am-4pm, however, we also have weekend office hours on site one hour before and after each Mass.

What will be the telephone number of the combined office for St. Lawrence, St. Teresa and St. Mary’s?  We will have the staff located at St. Lawrence, so all calls will go to that office. You can reach the office from 8am-4pm, Monday – Friday at 812-537-3992.

What will be the mailing address of the combined office for St. Lawrence, St. Teresa and St. Mary’s? All mail should be sent to 542 Walnut Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana 47025.

Reassign email addresses to:  frmeyer@dccatholics.com and frmahan@dccatholics.com

When is this happening?  It is our goal, since we had the approval of the Parish and Finance Councils, to move forward as soon as possible.  We have already begun collaborating on many things.  This is a process, but we hope by August 9th, to have formed a vision and begun the work.

In Conclusion

New life brings change.  A newborn baby changes people’s lives.  A newly married couple experiences change as they move in with each other for the first time after their wedding.   We realize that change is hard, it takes time and can be tiring.

Please know that we are not trying to change things for the sake of change, but for the glory of God, the flourishing of parish life and the salvation of souls.

~Please be patient with us, please pray for us.

~Please come to us or staff members with questions, there are always answers.

~Please be positive and affirming when talking to other parishioners who might not read this and have answers; provide answers filled with truth and charity.  God unites, Satan divides.  Gossip is not a fruit of the spirit.

 In His Service,

 

Fr. Jonathan Meyer and Fr. Daniel Mahan 

Pastors in Solidum

All Saints 

St Lawrence

St Mary

St Teresa