Dear Friends in Christ,
I wanted to share with you some news about our parish and some changes that will be taking
place in the month of October. St. Ann will once again be a stand-alone parish and I will no
longer have the care of St. Joseph in Easton. One thing that I realized last year as your pastor is
that I was beginning to see many of our regular parishioners not always coming to Mass on
Sunday or Saturday. When I asked people about this, the answer was that 10:00am on Sunday
did not fit in a busy family schedule and often, people had to attend a late Mass in the city or go
to another parish for an early Sunday Mass. In addition, the Sunday morning Mass continued to
be full, so much so, that it has necessitated parking across the street on the adjacent grass lot.
There is a statistic out there that once a church building is filled to 80% capacity every Sunday,
it is a deterrent from attending due to inconvenience in seating, parking, etc. In order to build a
serious community life (something lacking in our age of individuality and consumerism), it is
paramount that our parishioners normally attend Mass at our church. I knew this couldn’t
happen without another option for Sunday morning Mass.
I spoke with Bishop Johnston at length who agreed that our area of the diocese would continue
to grow and that now would be a good time to make St. Ann a stand-alone parish again for our
future. I am grateful for his decision. In an era where we are combining parishes and closing
some, St. Ann has grown by number of registrations which necessitates a positive change. Fr.
Matthew Bartulica, current chaplain to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles in
Gower and pastor of Seven Dolors in nearby Herlinger will become the pastor of St. Joseph in
Easton. This change will also help the sisters to afford their own chaplain and provide a priest
that is geographically closer to where parishioners in Easton live.
The following changes will take place in our schedule beginning Sunday, October 9, 2022:
7:30 AM
This Mass will be entirely spoken, with little to no music, and will not last more than 45-50
minutes. It will be celebrated more or less like a daily Mass enabling busy families and others to
make their Sunday obligation at St. Ann and to hopefully promote consistency with attendance

9:15AM-9:45AM SUNDAY MORNINGS This added confession time will provide ample
opportunity for the sacrament. Please be in line by 9:15 and understand I must prepare for
Mass by 9:45am.

Many do not understand that it is the members of the parish that must afford a priest and pay
for his benefits. Being a stand-alone parish means that St. Joseph in Easton will no longer
support us monthly for my ministry. The Diocese does not pay for a parish priest. With a slight
adjustment in giving, which the Finance Council and I believe is possible, we will more than be
able to cover the cost of my ministry to you. I am asking for every contributing family to please
give an additional $10/week. If you have not been giving at all, please consider that amount.
It is roughly the amount of a cup of coffee and a donut at the local coffee shop. If you have
teens that work, giving $10 is a way to actually contribute and make a difference and to teach
giving to the Church. Some might say that this is a risk we are taking in the midst of our capital
campaign. I know it is. I ask you to please consider this change as a tremendous opportunity
which is rarely afforded to a parish our size especially in our day and age. When parishes don’t
take concrete risks when the “time of visitation is at hand,” (to use a Biblical analogy) the
greatest risk we all face is a slow decline. We don’t want to live in a church of missed
opportunity, but a church where we can imagine what our parish can be in 5, 10, or 20 years. A
good parish runs on the real, lived faith of its people. People are generous when they believe. I
am blessed to be among you who have a strong, dedicated faith.
With a slight increased cost per family, I want to thank you for your sacrifice ahead of time. I am
hoping that this change will enable me to serve you better and will make me more available for
your spiritual and pastoral needs. Please use the opportunity. I enjoy being a part of your lives.
With your loyalty to our parish church, to her mission, and to our increasingly bright future, we
can be a rural, yet growing and vibrant parish that welcomes new families and continues to
retain those who have sustained our community for many years. May God bless all of you!

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Eric A. Schneider, Pastor

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