The Headcount Saturday Roller Coaster

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It has been a tense week around here as people discuss whether or not our parish will remain open.  There was good news that although attendance was low last week (perhaps due to the Fall Festival and a terrible storm), contributions were the same as previous weeks.  This week attendance was fairly high, and we are hopeful the collection was good as well.  Dare we to hope?

Then came the news that the neighboring diocese is moving from 108 parishes to 57.  Yikes.  I don’t know how they can afford to do that.  If you close too many churches, people aren’t going to drive several hours to attend a mega church and deal with the parking nightmares that come with it.  I can’t picture the frail seniors of our parish making lengthy trips.  They will simply choose to stay home and worship in their own way.  This will lead to less money coming in which will lead to even more closures.

In the sad event this parish closes, I guess my puppies and I will have to go to the Methodist church for our quiet time.  They have a lovely, peaceful corner for reflection…but it just isn’t the same.

: – (

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In Bitey’s World, sad things like church closings never happen.  It is always as happy as can be.  Come join Bitey and his little brother Toby on their adventures in Poopiter!

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

 

 

 

 

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Head Count Saturday

Saturday was the day that representatives came to our church for a head count.  (I suggested we invite Zaphod Beeblebrox, but no one sent an invitation.)  Based on how many people show up combined with the amount of the collection, the church’s viability will be determined.  Sadly, we had a very bad day.

Head count day was also the start of our town’s Fall festival.  It is very popular, and thousands of people go – including many church members.  Typically you can visit the festival, grab something to eat and still make it to the anticipated mass with time to spare.  This year, though, a freak thunderstorm blew in during the afternoon.  It closed the festival, caused traffic snarls and left people cold and drenched and miles from home.  Many just decided to go to church in the morning instead.

I feel terrible, as if I should have done more to save the church.  I’m not sure what I could have, though.  I simply do not have the money to make the kind of difference they would need.  There is no guarantee that this is the church that will be closed after the calculations are made.  While others nearby bring in more money, this one has more parking.

I keep praying we survive this round of cuts.  While I am not often seen inside the church, I use the outside more than probably anyone.  I would be so sad if it were torn down for condos or equipment storage for Sunoco.

Statue of Mary outside of a church.

A quiet place where the boys and I spend time.

And to add a touch of levity to the post….One day I was sitting at the base of the statue saying prayers for several friends going through difficulties.  As I was spending quiet time with my thoughts, Geordie and Toby got so tangled up in their leashes that they were lashed together, side by side, head to tail.  All was very quiet until “Toooot“!  Toby decided to leave a big one right in Geordie’s face.

After that I wondered, “Do prayers still count if you are laughing at dog farts?”

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If you enjoy (the thought of) dog toots, then you might enjoy Poopiter!

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

 

 

 

Things We Take for Granted

Cairn terrier sitting with marigolds.

Toby visiting the new statue and enjoying the marigolds.

At mass this weekend, the topic of parish closings came up.  It seems that with all of the scandal in the Catholic church, attendance is dangerously low (as is financial support), and there is a very real chance that we could lose our church.  For some reason I had never considered this as a possibility.

Our church isn’t one of the oldest, but it has been around for 50 years.  A lot of work has been done with building maintenance, improvements to the grounds and even adding a statue of the patron saint.  Not only is it a big part of the community, but it is where dog people in the area meet to talk and exercise their pups.  My boys grew up there and are known by everyone.

Since I have MCS, being in buildings with a lot of people wearing perfume and having cigarette smoke on their clothes is more than I can bear, so I haven’t attended mass in a good while.  I still participate in as many other aspects of the community as I can, however.

I didn’t realize until today just how much I would miss it if our church weren’t here.  I know a lot of other people are going through the same thing.  October is the month when then count attendance in order to determine which churches are closed and which kept open.  I am hoping to struggle through as many services as I can to do my part to keep this one open.  I hope that most churches are able to weather this storm and continue to provide good things for their communities for years to come.

Good luck with yours!

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Need to distract yourself from being sad over things that are not in your control?  Consider reading Poopiter! It is a fun little distraction with plenty of stories about these naughty pups.

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER