Monday, April 17, 2017
DA CROWDS, DA CROWDS, THE CROWDS!
I was a bit nervous about the fact that St. Anne's in Richmond Hill only as two Sunday morning Masses at 8:30 AM and 11 AM (a very nice schedule for one priest, by the way. I knew we would have a ton of visitors and others who come to Mass on at Easter and Christmas.
I wondered if I needed to add a Mass but decided against it since the new parish church can seat 1,200 comfortably. My first experience of it completely full, but no one standing was on Christmas Eve.
Both our 8:30 am and 11 am Masses were filled to capacity with the 8:30 AM having more small children than the 11 am and thus it won the competition for having the most. (Our Easter Vigil at 8 pm Holy Saturday was a little less than 3/4th full, with 13 baptisms and about 15 receptions into the Full Communion of the Church. It took 2 and a half hours!
What impressed me the most about my new parish is how fertile it is. We have so many young families (many are army families) and many have many children. It is wonderful.
While I am disappointed that these families don't come every Sunday, I am glad that they at least respond to God's grace to come at Christmas and Easter. I tried to be very welcoming of them and pray that some will become more engaged in their Catholic faith.
At the announcement time, in my best southern accent I said, "Ya'll come back now, you hear!"