Parish Life in 2017: Worship, Faith Formation, Finances and Outreach
Download full letter from Fr. Bob: January 2018 Letter from Fr. Bob
Church of Saint Matthew
510 Hall Avenue – St. Paul, Minnesota 55107
Mailing Address: 490 Hall Avenue – St. Paul, Minnesota 55107
Dear Church of St. Matthew Parishioner,
With the grace of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and your support, the Church of St. Matthew did great things in 2017. With the grace of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the support of each member the Church of St. Matthew will continue to be the Good Samaritan on the banks of the Mississippi. At the beginning of a new year, I invite you to reflect on our parish life in 2017 and what our parish life can be in 2018 here at the Church of St. Matthew.
Worship and Faith Formation
In 2017, our worship and faith formation continue to be enriched. Our Sunday Masses are enhanced with celebrating Baptisms and the Anointing of the Sick. While our choir is small in number, its members enrich our Sunday celebrations and invite others to join in praising God. Weekly lectionary-based faith formation and sacrament preparation classes taught by volunteer catechists are educating our children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Bulletins, Web, and Facebook pages continue to make parish information, education, and news readily available. The WolfGang Ensemble and the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra filled the church with celestial sounds and the Symphony Orchestra returns again on February 11th.
In 2018, we will continue what we have developed and in addition we will review our mission statement and collaboratively work together to update our vision for the parish. With your help, our parish data base will be revised to better serve our members. Everyone will be invited to volunteer and to identify and use their spiritual gifts because we are a gifted volunteer parish. Also in 2018, we hope to expand our use of technology to further engage the youth of our parish and to enhance their worship experiences. I invite you now to serve our community through ways like hosting Coffee Sunday, participating in the Men’s Club or Rosary Society, directing a community wide event, becoming a liturgical minister, or starting a prayer group.
In 2017, with parishioner’s generous financial contributions and money raised from the Fall Festival and Fix-It Fund Raiser, the church’s clerestory windows were replaced with thermal windows and the outside doors were repaired. These repairs will reduce our heating and cooling costs. The church and chapel light fixtures were upgraded and LED bulbs were installed to provide more light and to reduce utility costs. The groundcover for two playgrounds was replaced. The church and chapel organs were repaired and tuned.
The Men’s Club coordinated and funded the replacement of lights in the social hall and kitchen making it a hospitable space for enjoying Coffee Sunday, serving post-funeral luncheons, accommodating the West Side Summit School lunch program, assisting Loaves and Fishes in providing meals, and continuing the Lenten fish fries. Floor cleaning equipment and snow removal equipment were purchased to maintain our facilities both inside and out. Additional revenue can be gained by renting the social hall.
With an increase in Sunday collections, a new lease with West Side Summit School, rental fees from the Pastoral Center apartments and two additional rooms, and a decrease in payroll expenses by volunteer receptionists and account managers, the monthly mortgage payments for the school elevator and the campus boilers was increased. Some, but not all, of the current, assessments due the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis are being paid.
In 2018, additional repairs and upgrades will be made to the church, chapel, pastoral center, and school as finances make it possible. Roofs , sidewalks, a parking lot, and the church’s entrance ramp need to be repaired and/or replaced. The church’s sound system will be upgraded to avoid using the same wireless frequency with a major cell phone carrier. Renovation of rooms in the Pastoral Center could provide additional rentable space.
In 2017, the Church of St. Matthew continued its outreach through St. Mary’s Health Clinic, Loaves & Fishes, Community of Saints Regional Catholic School, and Casa Guadalupana. These are some of the hands and feet of our parish community.
Of note, in 2018, our parish will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fire that destroyed the original church on April 15, 1968. Fr. Steve Adrian, who celebrates his 76th birthday that day, will preside at the 10 am Mass.
An icon of our patron St Matthew welcomes all who come to our church. We invite visitors and previous parish members to join with us as we live out our mission to be a living expression of God’s love in the world. Please help spread the word and share our blessings in 2018.
Sincerely yours in the spirit of St. Matthew,
Fr. Bob Kelly, OP Parochial Administrator
Saint Matthew’s exists in the world as a visible expression of God’s love.