Visitation of the Families in our Parish – A Letter from Fr. Don

“The Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.  He said to them: ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’” Lk 10:1


Dear Parishioners,

I have to tell you some shocking news:

  • Only 33 percent of US Catholics attend Mass on a weekly basis.
  • The number of Americans identifying themselves as non-religious/secular has increased 110 percent from 1990 to 2000. 
  • Up to 100,000 baptized Catholics in the US drift away from Church each year. 

This says we have some work to do.  As a parish community, we need to make some efforts to strengthen our faith life and our practice of our Catholic Faith. 

Our Parish Pastoral Council has had some discussion of what we might do to enliven our parish and increase our participation.  We believe that St. Francis Solanus Parish is strong and doing well in many areas.  And yet we are conscious that in the past 8 years or so there has been a drop in Mass attendance of about 200 persons per weekend.  In spite of that we see increased involvement in many of our ministries and other activities.  We still have a way to go, or shall we say a way to grow

The Parish Pastoral Council has decided to launch a new initiative:  A Visitation of the families in our parish.  We are going to send out pairs of parishioners who will visit with you, the parishioners, in the comfort of your own home, and invite you to tell us about yourself and your thoughts about our parish. 

Our goals are very simple: 

  1. To let you know that we really care about you. 
  2. To give you an opportunity to tell us about your needs and give us your suggestions. 

It’s really that simple.  We have no hidden agenda.  We believe, quite simply, that making personal contact is of paramount importance.  So, the way it works is this:

You will receive a phone call from one of our visitors who will set a date and time for the visit.  Then during the visit, they will invite you to answer a few questions, to tell them anything you want about yourself, and to help us correct any information in our records (phone numbers, email address, etc.) 

Our plan is to use about 2 months each year (like August and September) to make these visits.  So, with approximately 1650 families or households, it’s going to take a few years to accomplish this visitation.

We are very excited about this initiative that is focused on personal contact with you and your family, and we hope you will share in the excitement.  Let’s all look forward to what this will spell for the vibrancy of St. Francis Parish. 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Don Blaeser, O.F.M.