Father John’s Message

Fr. John Gerritts  |   

20 June 2021

If you asked our middle and high school kids what the best thing was they’ve done at church, it would not be surprising if many responded “Extreme Faith Camp”. This Sunday and Monday more than forty middle school campers, high school leaders, chaperones, and staff will set off for Crescent Lake Bible Camp near Rhinelander, Wisconsin, for a week of camp.

Our Diocese is renting three weeks at northern Wisconsin camps this year to run Extreme Faith Camp. A third camp was added as the camp continues to grow in popularity. The kids spend the morning praying, sharing in small faith groups, participating in Mass, and hearing inspiring talks from young Catholic adults. There is also Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The afternoons are spent doing traditional northern Wisconsin camp activities that are led by the camp staff: swimming, water skiing, canoeing, fishing, shooting rifles, rock climbing, playing paintball, crafting, and just about anything else you can imagine doing in the north woods.

I will join the campers for the first two days of camp, an activity I always look forward to participating in. I can still pass the swimming test and with the hot weather we have been having, a dip in the lake will likely feel quite good. Please keep all our campers in your prayers as they head north.

I routinely get asked a variety of questions. I am guessing others may be wondering about these things, so I thought I would spend some time answering a few of the more frequently asked ones:

• When will the work on the parking lot begin? We are planning on the end of June or first part of July. It will be about a six week project depending on the weather. Much of the time will be spent on the concrete work. The actual repaving is only about a two week project and will be the last part completed. Activities at the church should not be disrupted much.

• Will we re-stain the pews? Glad you asked. We are planning to do this project with mostly volunteer help. With enough volunteers we plan to break the project into two parts. We are going to be asking for adult volunteers to help on Sunday, June 27, starting at 1 PM. The volunteers will help sand, vacuum, lay down plastic, and tape the pews. The next morning they will be sprayed professionally. The Knights of Columbus will help with the second sanding and removing the plastic and tape. We will do this again in July for the second half of the church.

• When will the new carpeting be installed? We are looking to the fall for this project to be completed.

• When will funeral lunches start again? The Council of Catholic Women (CCW) from our parish provide the funeral lunches, and they have decided to start serving again after Labor Day. This will give them time to get the kitchen cleaned, resupplied, and recruit additional volunteers. The CCW is very pleased with their flower project at the cemetery and are currently caring for the flowers on graves for ten families.

• How is Mass attendance? This is the toughest question. Is it what it was prior to the pandemic? No. We are at about 75% of our pre-pandemic attendance. Speaking with the other pastors in Hudson, this is a higher level than most of the churches in town. Each week I see people who have not been in church in over a year. We also still have a good number of people watching our livestream. So to answer the question, church attendance is probably right where it should be right now.

Next week, a story from camp!

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