Pastor’s Annual Report
Year Ending 2019
Rev. John A. Cramer, Pastor
Our Savior Polish National Catholic Church
Dearborn Heights, MI
This report covers the ninth year that God has granted me as your Pastor. While this year, like any other, has had its share of both good and challenging times, as we continue our walk together in faith, we seem to be on a trajectory of improving the way that we bring the Kingdom of God into both the hearts of our parish community, as well as the hearts of the greater community which we are a part of.
Since our last Annual Report, we have had no weddings or baptisms, 3 Funerals, 3 Epiphany House Blessings and 48 Anointings of the Sick. We have also had 2 Reconciliation services- one in Lent and one in Advent. We have offered regular daily, Holy Day and Sunday Masses, with attendance averaging 1-5 at the Daily Masses, 4-15 at the Holy Day Masses and ranging from 20-70 at Sunday Masses. Our School of Christian Living began the 2019-2020 year with 4 students, two in preparation for First Communion. The www.oursaviorpncc.com website received 5,733 page views in the calendar year 2019, down 4% from the previous year. However, a closer look at the trend shows a year over year increase of 22% from October to December. This can be attributed to the increase in Social Media activity in those months, with the assistance of our Social Media minister, Hilary Morey. With her help, we have added active Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as increased Facebook activity. This has helped with our online presence. If you have not already, please follow @OPncc on Twitter and pnccoursavior on Instagram, and encourage your friends and family to do so.
The Seniorate Retreat for 2019 was held in Temperance, MI on March 23. Talks were given by Rev. Jason Soltisak, Very Rev. Jaroslaw Nowak, and myself. This year’s retreat will be held on March 7, 2020. I realize that this is the same day as Spring Pierogi Filling Making. I was unable to get the date changed by Fr. Sr. Nowak. Speakers are scheduled to include Very Rev. Jaroslaw Nowak, Rev. Jason Soltisak, Rev. Michal Gitner, and myself.
All Saints Parish in Sterling Heights has received a new Pastor in the past year, Rev. Michal Gitner.
Nan Cramer and I also represented the Parish at the annual Chrism Mass in Chicago, IL at All Saint’s Cathedral on Holy Tuesday, April 16. 2019. In 2019, this was once again coupled with a Clergy Conference before the Mass. Here we received the Holy Oils for the year and brought them back to the parish. In 2020, it is tentatively scheduled to be held at St. Mary’s in South Bend, IN on April 7.
Between the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses, we had a combined attendance of about 110, about the same as 2018.
In 2019, we also continued an annual opportunity to donate the Easter Candle in memory of a loved one. The name of the person(s) to be remembered has been on the candle stand all year, and at the Easter Vigil the candle will be given to the donating family. Our 2019 donation was by Helen and Diana Walczak in honor of Florian ‘Floyd’ Walczak. We are looking for a donor for 2020.
May 13-15 brought the Annual Clergy Conference at the Jesus and Mary Retreat House in Mundelein, IL. I attended this mandatory conference, which brings together the clergy of the Diocese each year with their Bishop. This year, the conference will be from May 11-13 at the same location.
The Annual Diocesan Council Meeting, originally scheduled for June 31- July 1, 2019, was rescheduled for September 20-21, 2019. I was unable to attend, due to Nan’s hospitalization and release on those days.
June 23 brought the Spojnia Picnic which was hosted by Resurrection Parish in Temperance, MI. Once again, we thank all of those who stepped up to help make this event a great one for our Seniorate. The day began with a Mass at Noon, and was followed by the picnic itself.
On September 22 we had the Annual Parish Potluck Picnic. About 39 people were in attendance. Thanks to Donna Abraham and Pat Mack for chairing the event.
October 25, 2019 brought the PNCC Special Synod in Scranton, PA. Elizabeth Kasprzak was our delegate to this synod, along with myself. The result of this synod was the election of Very Rev. Jaroslaw Ralfalko as Bishop-Elect of the Polish National Catholic Church, and presumptive Ordinary of the Western Diocese. His elevation to Bishop is tentatively scheduled for April 2020 in Scranton, PA.
On November 1, 2019, the Solemnity of All Saints, I offered an 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM Mass. No one came for the 8:30 AM, and 9 were present for the 5:30 PM Mass.
For the first time this year, we offered a 4:30 PM Christmas Eve Vigil Mass along with the usual Midnight and 10:30 AM Christmas Masses. I am please to report that approximately 30 people attended the Vigil, with the same number attending the Midnight Mass. The 10:30 AM Mass saw 17 individuals. We will be retaining the Vigil Mass in the future. I thank Elizabeth Kasprzak and the Choir for their triple duty.
Going forward, there are some items that I would like to see happening, some are from last year which have not yet come to fruition, others are new. These items are:
•YMS of R and SAMBS: At the 2016 Parish Picnic, representatives of both the YMS of R and SAMBS gave a presentation about their organizations. I am still waiting for volunteers to step up and lead the renaissance of these important organizations in our Parish. •Tithing: We are at a critical juncture. Our annual collections at Mass… for all 52 weeks combined… is less that $12,000. We must do better in order to insure the future of the Parish. I ask each and every person to prayerfully consider raising their weekly contribution, as well as coming out in support of our fundraisers (dinners, pierogi, angel wings). We are completely reliant on you for our survival. If you could raise your donation by at least the price of a meal at your favorite restaurant (including tip) each week, we would be greatly appreciative. •Attendance: I have been noticing that some of our long-time parishioners have not been attending regularly. I would like to ask that if this is you, please talk to me. If there is a problem, I would like to know so that it can be addressed. If you are not comfortable with talking to me, place it in the suggestion box. Also, if you notice someone has been missing for a few weeks, give them a call and chat. Everyone likes to feel like they matter. •Mission/Evangelization: Our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church are still embroiled in the controversies which began last year, and the problems are increasing. Keep an ear open with your friends and family who may be troubled by these events, and invite them to worship with us. We can be a home for everyone who loves Christ and desires to worship in the Catholic tradition.
I am looking forward to another great year of walking in faith with you. I thank you for a great 2019 and let us together make 2020 even better. Let’s make our 104th year the best so far, and build on that as we move ever forward in our second century in faith!
Rev. John A. Cramer
Rev. John A. Cramer
Our Savior PNCC
January 26, 2020