May 6, 2013 A View from the Rectory Window

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about . . . In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem . . . To be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child . . . (Luke 2:1-6).

When Caesar took up his census, a Savior was identified. My hope for our parish census is a little more humble in scope. I write here in The View in case you did not receive from me a recent letter in this regard.

Since my arrival to our parish family I have discovered that in some instances our parish census records (including registration, sacramental and contribution information) are inconsistent, and in many cases, obsolete. I am attempting to rectify this. The reasons for an accurate census are many. I believe that a few of the more pertinent reasons are the following:

An accurate census:

Ensures that sacramental record keeping is clear, consistent and available to you at your request.

Ensures that you will receive timely and necessary information that impacts your faith life expression in our parish. I desire that if you request a response from me and/or the office staff that you can be assured it will be prompt and accurate.

Ensures that your rights and privileges as members of Christ’s Faithful, as well as my obligations to you are protected (i.e., the sacraments, instruction in the faith and in particular the faith development of your children).

Ensures that all tax deductible gifts are properly recorded and transmitted in receipt to you. Furthermore, I do not want to exacerbate the wounds of death, transitions in relationships and the movement of family members in my communications with you. I do intend to always respond to your requests for information with the most recent and accurate data.

To accomplish this task, I ask you to complete the census form (one per household) that you received in the mail and return it directly to the parish office in person or through the mail or in the weekly collection basket. If you have not received this census form, I ask you to contact the parish office at (609)390-0664.

I recognize that you may have been asked to provide this information previously but I believe this to be the simplest and least intrusive way to update and clarify our parish data. Again, I consider this to be an important element of my pastoral obligation to you.

While Caesar’s census identified The Son of God, it is my hope that our census properly notes you, a beloved child of God.

Monsignor Peter M. Joyce