540 Joppa Farm Road, Joppa, MD 21085
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Q & A Town Hall Follow-Up
Town Hall Meeting and Survey Follow Up

Parishioners submitted questions in a survey distributed in October 2008 and also asked many good questions at the Town Hall Meeting in November 2008. The Parish Council is working closely with Father Simmons to ensure all Parishioners' questions are answered.

Note: For responses to more personal or intimate questions, Parishioners are encouraged to speak with Father Simmons in person.

  • “What are the newest Mysteries of the Rosary, and when were they added?” The Luminous Mysteries were added by Pope John Paul II in 2002 & are to be prayed on Thursdays. They are: The Baptism in the Jordan (John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in the Jordan); the Wedding at Cana (at Mary's request, Jesus works His first miracle); the Proclamation of the Kingdom (Jesus preaches about God's Kingdom); the Transfiguration (Jesus is transfigured, identified as the Son of God, before the disciples); and the Institution of the Eucharist (Jesus offers his body and blood under the signs of the Eucharist).
  • “Must an adult converting to the Catholic Church be baptized again if he or she was baptized as an infant in another Christian Church? Not necessarily – a person can be baptized only once as a Christian. If there is any doubt about the validity of the earlier baptism, the Catholic priest may perform a “conditional baptism.” Adult baptism usually is a part of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) & is immediately followed by Communion & Confirmation.
  • “What does an adult who has never been confirmed need to do to receive the sacrament?” Speak to Fr. Simmons about preparing for the sacrament. The Sacrament of Confirmation for adults is given at the Basilica in the Fall & at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in the Spring.
  • “Have you thought about having families sign up to bring up the gifts at Masses?” Signing up can become burdensome. Simply contact one of the ushers before Mass, & be seated on the center aisle for easy access. It’s that easy!
  • “What is a Parish Corporator?” Each parish in the Archdiocese of Baltimore is incorporated under the laws of the State of Maryland. The “Corporators” are the Board of Directors of each Parish Corporation, under the “Corporation Sole,” the Archbishop. They are the Archbishop, the Vicar Bishop, the Pastor, & two qualified lay members of the parish, nominated by the Pastor & approved by the Archbishop. Our Lay Corporators, Joyce Rizzi & Andy Benoska, are appointed for 5 years. The Parish Corporation is the legal vehicle for managing the affairs of the parish, establishing specific legal accountability for those affairs, & has fiduciary responsibility for anaging the assets of a parish. Dave Strittmatter’s term has just ended and Joyce Rizzi’s term will end in June. We are grateful for their service & devotion to the mission of Holy Spirit Church.
  • “STAND training is perceived as too harsh; should it be toned down?” Nothing that we in the church can do to nurture & protect our children should be seen as “too harsh.” If the requirements for an individual being approved to work in contact with children in the church seem too stringent, perhaps that individual could serve equally well in a position not requiring contact with children. Please see Fr. Simmons if you’dlike to discuss this further.
  • “Can we establish a Prayer Line, or how can we best help with the spiritual needs of the sick & disabled?” Father Simmons currently takes Holy Communion to about 20 members of the parish who are unable to attend Mass. We, as a parish, offer our prayers for the sick & disabled, through the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass. Additionally, father offers his personal prayers in the name of this parish. If you know of anyone who is in need of having prayers offered for any reason, please contact Father Simmons directly.
  • “Can we have more missions at Holy Spirit, not at other churches?” A member of the parish council has investigated the possibility of a group tour to sites such as Fatima & Lourdes. PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES & FATIMA: We are coordinating an 8-day pilgrimage to Lourdes, France & Fatima, Portugal. Approximately $1,800 + tax per person for double occupancy room. Price includes airfare, 6 nights at a superior class hotel, 6 breakfasts & 6 dinners, airport-hotel transfer, hotel taxes, baggage handling, touring by private motor coach, services of a professional tour escort & all sightseeing to shrines, masses, & walking tours. Price does not include taxes (approximately $300 & travel to airport). Possible dates are Oct. 8-15 & Nov. 5-12 or March 2010. Payment plan available. We want to see how many people are interested before we finalize details. Contact Veronica Shepard @ 443-451-5172 (available weekends and evenings).
  • “What are we doing to help feed, clothe & shelter the needy or homeless?” We have a Social Outreach Committee whose volunteers are involved in providing meals for both the Sharing Table (at Prince of Peace) & the Day Shelter (in Edgewood). We are currently involved with the homeless shelter in Riverside the 31st of each month. We also give financial assistance for utilities & rent subsidies to many families.
  • “What are we doing to increase attendance at Faith Formation?” So far, two actions have been taken. (1) We have identified from the Baptismal Register each child of an age to begin Faith Formation & we have written to each family still registered & living in our parish area to ncourage them to enroll their child in Faith Formation. (2) We have also contacted families of all teens of an age to begin Confirmation preparation. We have an “open Registration” policy: Whenever a family comes in, everyone is welcomed. Faith Formation is alive & well!
  • “Why is the Tabernacle not in the main church?” At the time our church was designed (1980’s), it was the thinking in the Church to situate the tabernacle containing the reserved Most Holy Eucharist in a dedicated area of the church suitable for private prayer and away from the danger of profanation. The majority of our parishoners at that time agreed that a Blessed Sacrament Chapel would be appropriate. You are invited to enter the chapel for quiet prayer whenever the church is open. One may still show reverence and devotion to Our Lord in church by genuflecting or bowing one’s head upon entering and leaving.
  • “Why don’t we have a confessional booth?” We do, as a matter of fact. It’s called the Reconciliation Room and it is in the lobby next to the Sacristy and Father’s office. A kneeler and screen for anonymity and a chair for face-to-face confession are provided. Best way to acquaint yourself is to “come and see”.
  • “What activities do we have for our youth, and how can we get more of them involved in church activities?” VERY FEW! We need committed adults to join the Youth Activities Committee & help plan & organize a variety of events & activities for our youth. Adults have great ideas, & everyone wants things to happen, but not very many step up & volunteer to help. Will you? (Parents of children in Faith Formation can come to “First Sunday” coffee & donuts, meeting in the parish hall from 9:45-11:00, to share ideas.) Come, be involved with your children’s church activities. You’ll get a lot out of it, too.