I have heard a lot of good feedback on the new parish website. Go to stmaryguthrie.com to check it out! In this week’s column we are going to keep looking at some of the new features on the site. I am so happy Solutio – the web company that designed our site – came out to St. Mary from their headquarters in Wichita, KS and gave us an 8 hour workshop on how to manage and maintain the website.

Last week I spoke about the unified parish Google calendar. Today I want to talk about information on the website. The parish bulletin is a tricky thing! I came to see we were putting a lot of repetitive weekly financial information that took almost an entire column in the bulletin. I opted to go with a monthly financial statement in the parish bulletin instead. I am happy to say if you go to our website, click the menu tab that says Parish Life, and then on the drop down menu click Finance Council, you will be able to see the month end financial statement. This statement is a much more detailed statement than the bulletin ever provided. You can see what our budget for the month is, how we did last year, and how we are doing year-to-date. It also shows the amount in our bank accounts, investments, savings, as well as our debt. It is my goal that St. Mary be financially transparent. I believe this is a great step in that direction.

Next up on the website is the Parish Pastoral Council. This is a visioning body for the parish. If you go on the site and click the menu bar that says Parish Life, then on the drop down menu click Parish Pastoral Council, this will take you to a page where you can view the previous meeting’s minutes. Until this year the Parish Pastoral Council met every month. I personally found this to be challenging because there were some months I had not been able to take action on specific items. Life is always full of unexpected surprises! So to give us more time to accomplish tasks between meetings it was decided to meet quarterly instead. The minutes from the previous meeting can be found on this page.

Finally on the menu bar if you click About Us it opens up a drop down menu and you can click History. I am a firm believer that to know where we are going we must know who we are and where we have come from. St. Mary has a wonderful story. This parish was founded in 1889. It was the place where Oklahoma’s first bishop lived for about 16 years. We have one of the oldest Catholic schools in the entire state of Oklahoma that is still alive and well. We have our challenges like any parish or school, but we have always risen to meet them. I hope you can check out the history page to learn more about the gem of Guthrie: St. Mary!

This will be my final column until August. These next two months will be a time to change gears and work on what I think will be an exciting announcement for our very own St. Mary Catholic School. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I am pumped about it. You will begin hearing more about this come July! So while this column is on summer hiatus I hope you all remain well and continue to grow in faith, hope, and charity! -Fr. W.