Casa Bonita, the famous Denver destination restaurant is reopening! I can’t wait to visit! They remodeled the building and introduced a brand-new chef and food menu. Their motto is “Change nothing! Improve everything!” I like that!
Summer is a great time to take stock and look ahead with the grace of God. After one year as Pastor, I am so happy and blessed to be with you. Let us pray that our Lord will continue to bless, lead, and guide us through our 135th Anniversary, the National Eucharistic Revival, and beyond! “Change nothing! Improve everything!” is a great approach to our own “Casa Bonita” right here!
I met with our Pastoral Council on Wednesday, June 21, the first day of summer. We reviewed the results of our parish survey and discussed ideas for our 135th Anniversary and the second year of the National Eucharistic Revival.
Catholic Stewardship Consultants conducted a parish survey for us to better understand our attitudes and perceptions about various areas of parish life. The survey had over 60 questions. Postcards encouraging participation were sent to all 1,880 registered households in April. In the month following the mailing, we received 577 completed surveys. That’s about 31 percent of our parish, which is triple the industry standard of 10 percent. The results from the survey show that we are a vibrant faith community with strong loyalty. Ninety-seven percent were parishioners. Ninety-four percent said that they feel welcomed. Eighty-five percent participate at Mass every weekend. We have increasing numbers of new parishioners, as well as a solid base of longtime parishioners. Respondents highlighted our clergy and parish culture as the most positive aspects of our parish. That’s wonderful! Thank you so much! Praise the Lord!
Unfortunately, 86 percent of the respondents reported having NO children currently enrolled in our Faith Formation. We have to focus more attention on our younger families with children! Only 28 percent of respondents attended Adult Faith Formation opportunities over the last three years. We will offer more and varied opportunities in the future. Forty-one percent are not involved in any of our parish ministries. “Not enough time due to family and work responsibilities” was the number-one excuse. Hopefully, our ongoing stewardship efforts will encourage more involvement by everyone in the parish. Improvements to our High School Faith Formation and Music Ministry received a lot of attention on the survey, as well. So — we have plenty of work to do! I will be meeting with our parish staff to discuss improvements in all areas. Please check our website for the full survey report.
“Change nothing. Improve everything” — just in time for our 135th Anniversary! As part of our festivities, we will offer a Novena to St. Francis from Sept. 26 to
Oct. 4. We will focus on St. Francis’ love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and his missionary charism to bring Jesus to others. With permission of Bishop Golka, we will be replacing the Prayer to St. Michael at the end of each Mass by singing the famous Prayer of Saint Francis! What a great prayer to pray at home each day, as well! I encourage you to pray the Prayer of Saint Francis at home every day!
On Oct. 4, at 5 p.m., we will celebrate our St. Francis Feast Day with all of our Religious Formation children, parents, catechists, and everyone who can come.
On Sunday, Oct. 8, Bishop Golka will be joining us for our 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Masses to celebrate our 135th Anniversary.
To mark the 800th Anniversary of the First Christmas Manger created by Saint Francis and our 135th Anniversary as a parish, we will hold a Christmas Novena from Dec. 16 to 24 focusing on Jesus in the Manger and Jesus in Holy Communion with a “live” Christmas Manger outside the church on Christmas Eve. More details to come!
Thank you for all you do for our own “Casa Bonita” right here! Together let’s “Change nothing! Improve everything!”
May the Lord give you peace!
Reverend Mark Zacker