Pastor’s Letter – Dec. 10, 2017 – Advent and Updates on Parish Projects
I hope everyone’s Advent is off to a good start, getting rid of clutter, clearing some space to make something beautiful for God in the workshops of our souls. As I suggested last week Advent is a season of grace, a season of hope, a looking forward to the wonderful possibilities of God’s ever-present grace especially in these beautiful seasons of grace the Church offers us. This weekend we will be passing out Matthew Kelly’s book Perfectly Yourself. I hope this may be a resource for many of you to grow in the spiritual life during this time of Advent.
I want to thank the Women’s Association for the fine and very beautiful violet Advent banner that they have provided for the parish from their funds. A committee of the Women’s Association planned and executed this project. This banner really enhances our sanctuary space and sets a nice environment for Advent. I understand there will be more to come for other liturgical seasons.
I want to update you on a few projects to enhance our worship space. We are moving ahead with a design for new altar and ambo, incorporating the recommendations of the Archbishop’s liturgical consultant. As mentioned before, Sonny Tremoulet, a parishioner, will be building both the altar and ambo and the relatively minimal materials cost will be donated by a parishioner; therefore, there will be no cost to the parish for this project.
There is also a committee working on a design for a statue of Mary to go in the empty niche on the right side of the church by the choir. We are working with a company that will carve this statue in Italy once plans are complete. This statue of Mary will represent Holy Rosary. Similar to the statue that has been put out during the past two Octobers, Mary will be holding Jesus and a Rosary will go from Jesus’ hands through Mary’s hands to us. This is appropriate and correct symbolism showing that the Rosary leads to Jesus and brings us closer to Jesus through Mary his mother. And of course it also represents our parish as Holy Rosary. Similar to the altar and ambo project there will be no cost to the parish for this project, it will be funded through donations. After we get the colored drawings of the statue I will be approaching the various groups and associations to see if they might want to participate. Individuals may also participate. If you wish to participate with a donation please contact Linda Marrese in the parish office.
And finally, in regard to our financial situation, I would say we have moved from a financial crisis to debt management. Last year we did not have enough funds to make our debt payments ($30,000 a month) and had to ask the Archdiocese for relief. With our parishioners’ continued support I feel confident that we will be able to make our debt payments to the Archdiocese this coming fiscal year. However in the long term we have to try to do something to reduce this debt burden which I feel is too heavy for an organization like ours. I am working with the finance council to explore ways and to develop a plan for the future to reduce the burden.