My Dear Parishioners, each year in August I publish a financial report showing how the parish performed during the previous fiscal year. As last August’s report showed, we are very healthy financially. While finances can be an excellent indicator of a parish’s overall health, there is much more that can be told about the work that we are doing as a parish. I would like to share with you other areas in the parish that shows how healthy we are.
INFANT BAPTISMS: The road to heaven begins with the Sacrament of Baptism. I often say at the celebration of a baptism, that I love to baptize. God trusts us enough to place in our hands a fresh new life. It is a joyful time for the child’s parents, godparents and family. But it is also a joyful time for the whole church. Last year we baptized 53 infants and babies. These were great blessings to the parish family of Our Lady of the Lakes.
ADULT BAPTISMS AND ADMISSIONS TO THE CHURCH: The choice to be baptized or admitted to full communion in the church can sometime come later in life. A wise person once said that everyone is loved into the church. Whether it was the love of a parent for their child or, in some cases, the love of a spouse, people are loved into the embrace of the church. The process is called the R.C.I.A. – The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For many the process began long before they signed up for the 25 classes. Perhaps they attended mass with a Catholic spouse or a fiancé. Or perhaps they are teens attending Lakes and are attracted to the faith by their classmates. In any way, they find us. Last year 42 adults and teens became catholic at Lakes. TOTAL BAPTISMS AND ADMISSIONS TO THE FAITH FOR 2014 WAS 95.
FIRST COMMUNIONS: The second Sacrament of Initiation is First Holy Communion. Last year 113 young (and older) parishioners received First Holy Communion. That is a great number to be fed at the Lord’s Table for the first time.
CONFIRMATIONS: In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church the Sacrament of Confirmation, the third Sacrament of Initiation, is not celebrated at baptism, as in some other Rites, but later in life. Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, the sacrament is celebrated either in the springtime of 8th grade or the autumn of 9th grade. Last year 127 teens were confirmed in the faith, taking a step along the road to heaven first begun at baptism.
MARRIAGES: Last year we celebrated with 17 couples the Sacrament of Matrimony. That number is down a bit from previous years, but the construction of the parking lot caused some couples to get married at other churches.
FUNERALS: Last year we celebrated eternal life with 68 funerals. St. Paul says “I don’t want you to grieve like the pagans who have no hope.” We are a people of faith and hope and our farewells are filled with the love and the assurance that we will see our loved one’s again.
MASSES: In addition to weddings, funerals and Confirmation we celebrated mass 527 times during the year.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK: Along with the sacramental ministries that were celebrated in our parish last year, we ministered to people in need of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick over 100 times.
350 young people were educated in our Faith Formation program. Another 560 students attended our school last year. We distributed over $100,000.00 in aid to those in need.
Our Lady of the Lakes parish is a vibrant and lively community of believers. We grow each year in numbers and in faith because of the love that we have for God and each other.
Fr. Delonnay