Pastor's Letter for the November 28, 2021 Bulletin

On the one hand I want to say “thank you” to all who have participated in the photo sessions for our new picture directory.  We are still gathering “submitted photos” and I will let you know the deadline for those photos as soon as I clarify with the directory representative with whom I am meeting tomorrow, on Monday, November 29th, for our directory design meeting. I am greatly encouraged by the level of participation, all things considered.

On the other hand, I need to offer a FORMAL APOLOGY.  I believe I need to apologize for the experience many parishioners had of exorbitant prices charged for the photograph packages. 

I have contacted the Diocese of Steubenville about recourse we could have for filing a formal scam report or any kind of group legal action to recoup some of the, again, exorbitant charges some have discovered on their credit card bills, etc.  I understand that studio quality photography is expensive, but the “sticker shock” approach – or the aim high and then drop-down approach – with a surprising amount of pressure employed by at least one the photographers was far from what I had expected.  We employed this same parish directory company for our 2015/2016 directory and I don’t recall having such a pressured experience. 

The photographer must have seen how deeply my jaw dropped when he showed me the initial charge for only four photos. Then, when I remained speechless after he offered less expensive backing for the photos, he finally relented and simply offered four wallet-sized photos on simple photo paper.  I know my mother loves me and will be happy to get one of those photos, but I’m sure she wouldn’t have wanted me to spend so much on the picture!

So, I would like to ask anyone who experienced that pressured sales pitch and would like to (or need to) join in the formal complaint and demand for reimbursement to please contact me.  We will send out this week’s bulletin early by email so if some of you need to contact me even before our meeting with the representative at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, please feel free to do so.  Feel free to send a reply by email ([email protected]) or leave a message for me at my parish voicemail box [(740) 432-7609, ext. 201].  I will try to return the message and build a list of how many people had that pressured experience, including, if you can, the original sky-high price and what you ended up being charged. 

As mentioned last week, please note that instead of having an Advent Reconciliation Service this year, we are planning to have expanded times for confession, including three Tuesday evenings, December 7th, 14th and 21st from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at St. Benedict Church. Please note that when we have the Holy Hour on the 4th Wednesday at Sts. Peter & Paul, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., I usually plan to be available for confessions at that time as well. Hopefully we will have a communal reconciliation service in Lent.

May Our Lord Jesus Christ help us to experience the transforming power of His mercy as He helps us to be always ready for the gift of eternal life in Heaven!