After much prayer, advice, and thought I want to let you know about a weekend Mass schedule change beginning the weekend of January 6-7, 2024.
It is time to discontinue the Sunday afternoon, 4:30pm Mass. This Mass began almost nine years ago. Therefore, beginning in the new year, 2024, IHM will only have three (3) weekend Masses. They will be: 4:30pm Saturday, 8:00am & 10:00am Sunday.
If you ask why am I choosing to discontinue this Mass, I would like to offer these reasons:
- The 4:30pm Sunday Mass was started as a youth involve-ment Mass supported by a LIFETEEN music ministry. After the 4:30pm Sunday Mass the paid Youth Minister and the core team, at that time, hosted LIFETEEN meetings every week for the youth. COVID (June 2020) changed all that. We lost our paid Youth Minister and hiring a youth minister during COVID times became impossible. Although the program started out with great success, truthfully, there were very few teens who were left participating in this LIFETEEN Mass and youth program around 2020.
- In the last year our LIFETEEN band has been struggling to remain together in a weekly consistent manner as members have new commitment issues, such as, a new baby, children in high school activities on Sunday night, or simply health (voice) struggles.
- Jeff and Kira Andrea, the leaders of our LIFETEEN music ministry all these years, have always encouraged and inspired the youth to grow closer to God through this program and through this 4:30pm Mass. Recently, God has also opened a new door for them. They have been asked to join another parish and provide music for a Sunday evening Mass where this is a very vibrant youth group of 150 teens! So, I say good for them! They will not leave IHM parish and will be available to support our music ministry at some Saturday 4:30pm parish Masses and some school Masses yet to be determined. They will be available for the Divine Mercy annual devotions and chaplet, as well as other parish XLT’s and special events.
- Health issues with myself, Father Thomas, and Father McCann all of whom have walking struggles (mine may be recovered by May 2024) but both Father Thomas and Father McCann need assistance at times.
So, once again, with prayer and advice IHM will discontinue the Sunday 4:30pm Mass at the beginning of the new year! I have always known that change is always difficult but who knows what new doors may be opened in our future.