A special welcome to all new parishioners who have recently joined us! First of all, I pray that you feel at home at OLM and that our parish helps you during your time in Madrid. You may be amazed at how dynamic and vibrant we are. Do you want to know the secret? We are a successful parish because everyone is expected to play their part. Some parishioners never envisioned themselves as a CCD teacher or choir member or Usher, but at OLM you have a wonderful opportunity to explore many options. Many people have told me that they never imagined that their church would have played such an important and crucial part in their lives during their time in Madrid. I am convinced that their satisfaction was due to the fact that they took the initiative and decided to become involved. (The unsatisfied are usually those who do nothing.) Every year families return home and leave us with the need for more volunteers. We always need new greeters (see Julie) and others to help with donuts & coffee (see Louise), and ushers (see Brian), PLEASE think of volunteering for your church before local clubs and schools ask for your help. We need you and you will be serving the highest of all causes, your God.
Please don’t think that “someone else can do it better than I” or “I have not been a parishioner long enough.” Remember, over half our parish is always “new” so we depend upon people jumping right in. Returning parishioners are reminded that they should be especially welcoming to new faces. It is not always easy to be extroverted but everyone remembers gratefully that first kind face that helped them feel at home here, right? Please, do the same for others.
If you are new to us, let me (or the ministry leaders) know what you would like to do. If you play a musical instrument, if you were involved in a church ministry previously, if you have time to volunteer, or to help with charity, please, please, please, let us know right away. We are a parish that has over a 50% active involvement of our parishioners and there is no big bureaucracy to impede you from getting involved. The easiest way is to call me at 91-733-94-09 or send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t assume that we should come and ask you first, we are not that organized. Help the church that helps you.
Remember, OLM is a parish that provides the same services as any larger American, British or African parish but receives in one year what many other churches would collect in 1 or 2 months. We ask that everyone, current parishioners included, to please use the envelope or bank transfer system and offer your church the same minimal support you would give to the telephone company or the electric company. (They charge a minimum amount whether you use their services or not.). Please, we need to avoid the “just passing through” syndrome. OLM is really and truly your church while you are in Madrid, please treat it as you would your home parish. We keep your giving information confidential – only the treasurer and Fr. Ron are privy to the information.
Many parishioners are very appreciative of the almost weekly emails that I send out. They usually inform us what will be going on the following Sunday and they give me an easy way to warn you about important things like marathons that block the street, special blessings, the end of daylight savings time, etc. If you are not receiving these, please send me an email at email@example.com. I usually try to end each one with a joke, so at least you will get a weekly laugh. All email addresses are sent as blind carbon copies (hidden) and are held in the strictest confidence. Because of privacy laws, you must request the mail first.
As I have said before, our parish is a success because it is a spiritual one. People really do care about God and one another. I receive many emails and cards of gratitude so I know we must be doing something right. We are blessed not to have had to suffer any scandals or factions in our parish, we are internationally diverse but spiritually unified. God has blessed us richly, and for that we give thanks. May it be so for many years to come. And it depends upon you!