Friday, October 31, 2014

A note from Fr. Chuck, November E-Newsletter

We are moving ahead with our project to renovate the exterior of our church and rectory buildings. Please check out the three schemes on-line at www.staustin.org/renovation and email your thoughts, comments, and ideas to PropertyCommittee@staustin.org.  

Everyone is invited to an informal discussion about the exterior of our church and rectory buildings immediately following the All Saints Day 10 a.m. Mass tomorrow, Saturday, November 1. We will meet outside on the sidewalk in front of church. In case of rain, then we will meet inside. Come and join in the discussion!

The ideas and input we have received from the three initial schemes are now being digested. The architect is working on a more detailed FOURTH scheme taking into account our input. It will be presented to the Property Committee on November 19, further refined, and then presented for reactions and comments at a special booth at the Holiday Fair on December 6 and 7.

Please keep our parish and this design process in your prayers as we continue to develop our plan.

Thanks,


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, October 26

Next weekend, Nov. 1 & 2, we will celebrate All Saints on Saturday and All Souls on Sunday. Catholics believe that when we die life is changed, not ended. We also believe that all of us who form the Body of Christ are connected in the Holy Spirit, who is stronger than death. So in Christ our expressions of concern, care, forgiveness and asking of forgiveness are somehow present to those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. This is why we ask the Saints to pray for us and why we pray for our beloved dead. We all support and help each other in the process of salvation.
In keeping with these celebrations, we will have the Book of Remembrance for the deceased that you wish to list. We will include all those names in our Masses during this time. In addition, for the Masses of Sunday, November 2 (including the 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday) you are invited to bring pictures of your deceased loved ones you would like remembered at the Mass. You may place the picture during the Mass on the steps leading up to the altar. And at the commemoration of the deceased the presider will pause allowing you the opportunity to silently include the deceased you wish to remember and pray for.
On Saturday we will have the All Saints Day Mass at 10:00 a.m. All are most welcome!

As I write this we have plenty of bad news with falling stock prices, fears of deflation in Europe, wars and terrorism all over the Middle East, and Ebola creeping over our state. But we also have some refreshing news from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family which just finished in Rome. There were debates about how open and welcoming the church can/should be to the divorced and remarried, to those who have never married but live together, and how welcoming to be to same sex couples. It is clear the cardinals are not all of a same mind on these issues, and that diversity is both refreshing and, I believe, healthy.
Morals do change, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Before WWII, in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, it was prohibited for a priest to celebrate a marriage between an Occidental and an Oriental; that is, between a white person and an Asian person. It was taken for granted that mixing of the races was a bad thing. That has largely, but not entirely, changed. I remember when I was pastor in San Francisco that a lot heart ache was caused by a Chinese father refusing to attend the wedding of his daughter because she was marrying a white man. It was very sad.
It has long been taken for granted that same-sex marriages are a bad thing. However, younger people in our country no longer accept that. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, fully 85% of 18-29 year-old Catholics said that homosexuality should be accepted by society. Cleary it is no longer self-evident that same-sex marriages are bad. Therefore merely repeating the prohibition against such marriages will do no good. In fact, it will cause harm by making the Church just look out-of-date and intransigent.
Clear reasons for the prohibition of same-sex marriage must be given if the opposition to it is not to be seen as outdated prejudice. I think the debate among the bishops and cardinals at the Extraordinary Synod in Rome helps to clarify and identify the reasons for the Church’s stance on homosexual relations and same-sex marriage. It is not enough to say this is the long-standing teaching of the Church. Cogent explanations must also be given. Debate will help bring out those reasons.

God Bless,

Monday, October 20, 2014

HOMILY 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A October 19, 2014

          In today’s homily I want to draw a contrast between our first reading and our second reading. 
          But first I have to set the scene of our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah.  The Prophet Isaiah lived a long time ago, more than 500 years before Jesus was born.  That is a long time ago.  And in our first reading today he is talking about a Persian king named Cyrus, a/k/a Cyrus the Great, who died in the year 530 BC.  Here is what you need to know about old Cyrus to make sense out of today’s first reading:  Cyrus raised up a great kingdom in Persia, and then conquered a neighboring, older kingdom called Babylon. 
          Now Babylon should ring a bell for all of you who study the Old Testament, and I am sure all of you do.  Because a couple of generations before our man Cyrus conquered Babylon, way back in 597 BC or almost 70 years earlier, Babylon had conquered Judah the Kingdom of the Jews.  And Babylon, as was its policy when it conquered a people, took the nobles, the artisans, the scholars, all the best people back to Babylon as captives.  And for nearly 70 years the Jewish people suffered under the Babylonian captivity. 
          It was a really hard time for the Jews, and a very important time in the formation of their religion.  Some just gave up.  They believed God had given up on them, abrogated the covenant God had made with Abraham, no longer counted the Jews as God’s chosen people, and with no prince, no land, no temple, no sacrifice, the Jews had NO future.  The technical Biblical term for this is they were KAPPUT.
          But other exiles when deeper, and came to realize that in spite of all their sins and failings, and in spite of all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, God was NOT giving up on them.  God would be faithful.  Because that is what God is.
          Nobody could figure out how God would be faithful, because the Babylonian Empire was as strong as it was ruthless, but somehow God would bring His people back to their land.
          And this is where our man Cyrus comes in.  He raised up the Persian Empire which turned out to be even stronger than the old Babylonian Empire.  And Cyrus conquered the Babylonians.  They were now KAPPUT.      Then Cyrus, who as a very shrewd politician, did something interesting.  He knew ruling a vast empire would be difficult, and he would only succeed if he won over his subjects’ minds and hearts.  So what he did, which was very novel but very successful, is he allowed all the peoples the Babylonians had conquered and displaced, to return to their homelands.  And so the Jews were able to return to Judea and Jerusalem, and rebuild the temple that the Babylonians had destroyed.  Cyrus even assisted them in returning and rebuilding the temple.
          Now Cyrus did this because it was shrewd politics and served his purposes.  But the Prophet Isaiah in our first reading gives it a whole different spin. 
“Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus, / whose right hand I grasp,
subduing nations before him, / and making kings run in his service,
opening doors before him and leaving the gates unbarred:
For the sake of Jacob, my servant, of Israel, my chosen one,
I have called you by your name, / giving you a title, though you knew me not.”
          Isaiah is saying that even though Cyrus, this pagan king, is totally unaware of it, He is an instrument of the One True God, serving God’s purposes.
          Isaiah goes on I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God besides me.
It is I who arm you, though you know me not,
so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun
people may know that there is none besides me. 
I am the LORD, there is no other.”
          It is a remarkable vision that Isaiah has.  This pagan emperor, totally unawares, is God’s instrument and doing God’s bidding.  In other words, Cyrus never had a clue as to what he was really doing and the meaning of it. Cyrus is like a hammer or a paintbrush or a keyboard that some builder or artist uses.  Cyrus was a means to God’s ends, and totally unaware of what he was really doing, promoting salvation history.  Kind of a fascinating idea.
          Now I want you to contrast that totally clueless King Cyrus to what St. Paul says about us in today’s second reading. 
          St. Paul writes to the Thessalonians and today to us:  “We give thanks to God always for all of you,  knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.”
          King Cyrus was chosen by God.  Isaiah even says he is God’s anointed, that is, chosen as a king.  Cyrus was chosen to do God’s will, but was clueless and unaware of what he was really doing. 
          We also are “chosen”.  The difference is, we knowWe give thanks to God always for all of you,  knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.” 
          How were we chosen?  St. Paul states: “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power / and in the Holy Spirit / and with much conviction.”  
          Does it make a difference for us that, unlike clueless Cyrus, we know?  You bet it does.   Knowing that we have been chosen by God gives us much greater dignity, and also more responsibility.  We are not passive pawns in God’s purposes, but active co-participants.  And that makes a world of difference. 
          St. Paul says to the Thessalonians and to us:  “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith  /   and labor of love   /  
and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 
          Work of faith, and labor of love, and endurance in hope are not the hallmarks of senseless tools.  These are the marks of co-participants.  These of the marks of disciples.  And that is what we are called to be.
          God today is inviting us to become co-workers in proclaiming and establishing, not some earthly kingdom of the Babylonians or of the Persians or of Caesar and the Romans, not even of the United States, but rather God’s Kingdom.  First and foremost we do this in our own hearts.  To do that we must know and cooperate, doing the “work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   

          Know who you are and what you are about.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, October 19

On Wednesday evening, Oct 8, we had a presentation by the architects we had selected to assist us on our church and rectory exterior renovation project. Sixth River Architects presented three different schemes to get our creative juices flowing. They solicited feedback and input from the just over 100 parishioners who attended, in order to begin moving forward to an concrete proposal. You can view these three schemes, though not the whole “fly through” presentation, on the parish website at www.staustin.org/renovation. There are also prints posted in the back of the church and in Hecker Hall.
We are hoping to achieve several goals in this renovation project. FIRST of course is to make our campus safe. That is our first concern and responsibility. If this were our ONLY concern, then a simple solution would be to erect safety barriers and covers and metal awnings and just live with that for the next 20 years. It would, of course, be pretty ugly and unattractive, but it would be faster and a whole lot cheaper.
But we are using this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to also address some mission issues. We have very little presence on Guadalupe Street. If we were trying to camouflage the church, we would win an award. We have repeatedly had the situation of visitors who come here for weddings or funerals or concerts who tell us that they have driven up and down Guadalupe Street for years and never knew a church was here. One of the members of our choir tells how she drove by the church three times while actually looking for it before she found it. A member of our Finance Council went to UT for four years, had her hair done just down the block, and never knew there was a church here. For the sake of the mission that we have to be an evangelizing parish, we need a much greater sense of presence, welcoming, and impact on the Drag. That is what these three architectural schemes attempt to do.
In addition, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address the grey, mottled appearance due to mold growing in the limestone on the church and rectory. It is, quite frankly, very unattractive. Our house of worship should be beautiful and welcoming and inspiring. If you stand across the street in front of the Dobie Mall, and examine our fa├žade critically, you can see it is in need of a face-lift. We now have the opportunity to do that.
Other goals we have and may be able to accomplish in this renovation project are: 
§  Increase number of bathrooms and make (some at least) ADA compliant. 
§  Enhance and beautify route from our garage to the front entrance of the church making it more inviting and easier to find the way into church.
§  Repurpose the old office section of the rectory ground floor for Children’s Liturgy of the Word and other parish uses.
§  Perhaps install solar panels on the garage or elsewhere to reduce our utility costs.
§  Upgrade the rectory kitchen, which is in need of some TLC.
Of course this will all take money. We will be launching a capital campaign to help us reduce our debt and to finance this renovation project. You will hear more about that in the next couple of months.
Meanwhile if you have any comments, suggestions or questions about the three architectural schemes, I highly encourage you to seek out one of the parishioners who attended the presentation on October 8. It is pretty hard to understand the schemes from the pictures alone, without the presentation. Some of the information is on the parish website as well. After finding out about it, your input and suggestions are welcome, and may be emailed to PropertyCommittee@StAustin.org.
This is an exciting as well as challenging time for our parish. I hope that you will be a part of it.

God Bless,

Monday, October 13, 2014

HOMILY Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A October 12, 2014

My homily today is in parts, like one of those kits you get from IKEA.  Some assembly on your part is required.
          Part One:    For today’s homily I am going to pass over our selection from the Gospel of Matthew.  It is, frankly, kind of a mess.  St. Luke, in his Gospel, tells a similar parable, but it is obvious that St. Matthew has re-arranged and probably conflated it with yet another parable, with questionable results.  As Fr John L McKenzie, who is regarded as the premier Catholic Biblical scholar of the mid-twentieth century;  wrote in the prestigious Jerome Biblical Commentary about this passage in Matthew’s Gospel, “Because the parable does not exhibit Matthew’s usually fine literary unity and coherence, there is no reason to postulate a compilation from various sources;  rather it is a rare example of substantial rewriting by Matthew; and it shows that he did not re-write skillfully.”    
Ouch!  St. Matthew gets a “D”.  I’m glad I didn’t have John McKenzie as a professor in the seminary!               In any case we will pass over the Gospel this week. 

          Part Two:  “Thin Soup”
A long time ago in the Far East there was a king of a small kingdom, who like most such kings, was a tyrant.  He had two counselors, one who always bent his opinion to what the king wanted to hear, and the other who told the king the truth, whether he wanted to hear it or not.  Soon the counselor who spoke honestly of course upset the petty tyrant, and was banished from court.         A long time after the more pliable counselor wondered how the honest councilor was getting along.  So he decided to pay him a visit.  He put on one of his most splendid and luxurious robes, saddled his finest horse with the most impressive saddle and tack, and went to visit his former colleague
          When he arrived at the honest counselor’s dwelling he found a house in disrepair, with holes in the wall, hardly any protection against the elements.  In front of the house on the porch the honest counselor was having his mid-day meal.  He was dressed in a patched, faded, worn-out robe, sitting on a modest stool, eating a bowl of soup that was so thin it was practically just water.  “My old friend” said the duplicitous counselor, “if only you could learn to bend the truth, to fudge on your judgments, at least to hold your tongue when you disagree, then I am sure the king would welcome you back and you would not have to eat that miserable thin soup.”  The honest counselor looked him in the eye and said, “Ah, if only you could learn to eat this soup, you would not have to lie, dissemble, and compromise yourself.” 

          Part Three:  In our second reading today from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, St. Paul states:  “Brothers and sisters: I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance.”  
The Jerusalem Bible states this more forcefully as, “I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich also.”   
St. Paul in our second reading goes on: “In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need.” 
          What does St. Paul mean?    I believe that St. Paul is talking about being fully alive.  He knows how to live in humble circumstances and yet not be put down, not complaining, not be depressed, but rather to be grateful, to be aware of his blessings, to be open and fully alive. 
St. Paul also knows how to live with abundance, without complacency, without falling into self-absorbtion, without being puffed up and forgetting others, still grateful and open.  Paul knows how to be poor without self-pity and to be rich without investing his real worth in mere things, and still in any case to be authentic, to be his true self. 
          Does that not sound like freedom?  To not have our sense of self be at the whim and caprice of circumstance?   St. Paul is FREE because has conquered circumstances.  He boldly states: In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need
.”    
          St Paul has achieved the freedom to determine himself and not be determined by circumstance.  That is pretty neat.   
          Wouldn’t you like be able to do that?  How did he do that?  What was his secret?   Well he tells us:  “I can do all things in him who strengthens me. “  Let me repeat that“I can do all things in him who strengthens me. “
          I want to point out that this is NOT Paul boasting.  I think that rather he is giving us an example and an encouragement.  In effect St. Paul is telling us, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me, “ AND SO CAN YOU!  
          So can you!  You do not need to be depressed by poverty.  You do not need to be stuck up and isolated by wealth.  You can do all things in Him who strengthens you. 
           So, You don’t need to be resentful.  You don’t need to hold onto grudges.  You don’t need to be selfish and inflated with your own importance.  You don’t need to beat yourself up.  You don’t need to be prejudiced and bigoted.  You don’t need to be angry or lustful or greedy or dishonest. 
You can be free to be who you truly are.  Because Christ has freed you. 
          Living free is difficult, like learning to eat thin soup is difficult.  But Christ has freed us.  Like St. Paul, we too can do all things in Him who strengthens us.

          Be free!    

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, October 12

Today I thought I would give a collection of odds and ends on happenings in the parish.

Our parish school just completed a scrutiny from the Texas Catholic Conference Education Dept. (TCCED) for our accreditation by that august body. The last time this occurred was seven years ago. A team of four visitors examined the school for a week, checking into everything. A great deal of work was done in preparation by the School Advisory Board, the Faculty and Staff, Ms. Barbara Kennedy and Mr. Fred Valle, and by the students and all the school parents. Their hard work paid off. I heard the report on Friday, Oct. 3 from the head of the visiting committee, and all the marks were “exemplary,” “outstanding,” and “effective.” There were NO marks of “absent” or “needs attention.” Noticed and commented on repeatedly by the visitors was the great sense of community our school demonstrates. The whole process was a great affirmation of the wonderful school we have here at St. Austin. Way to go, Eagles!

Also on Friday, Oct. 3, the First Grade helped the school celebrate the Guardian Angels’ Mass. Each first grader dressed as an angel, complete with wings and a halo. It was a beautiful Mass. The angels were well prepared, presented a song with movement, and were so cute, as only first graders can be. You can see their cherubic faces gathered around the altar on the school’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/staustincatholicschool.

On Saturday, Oct. 4 we had another lovely event here, and that was the Blessing of the Animals on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Fr. Ed Nowak, CSP, dressed and played the part of St. Francis, Pope Francis joined us by way of a life-sized cardboard photo, and we were joined by dozens of dogs, a few cats, a lovely white rat and one miniature hamster. Music Ensemble members under the direction of Rudy Davenport led us in appropriate songs, and reps from the Austin Pet Food Bank received donations to help Onion Creek area residents and their pets still recovering from the Halloween flood last year. We also had a member of Austin Police Dept K-9 patrol and his wonderful dog, Tex. We did not, however, have any farm animals this year. We had gorgeous weather out under the shade structure on the black-top, and everyone, whether two-legged or four-legged, had a great time. Look for pictures on our parish Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/staustinparish. Thank you to everyone who worked to make this event so special!

Finally, faithful readers of our Diocesan Catholic newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, should note the prevalence of St. Austin Parish authors in the October edition. On page 17 parishioner Barbara Budde has the social justice article with the catchy title “Building a church that is inclusive and
welcoming.” Page 18 features parishioner Norman Farmer’s “A reflection on the Stigmatization of St. Francis” in the Faith Through Art series. And the following page, 19, has parishioner Mary Lou Gibson’s latest installment in the Saints For Our Time series, “St. Paul of the Cross: A contemplative,
celebrated preacher.” All three articles are worth a look. One could get the impression that our parishioners like to write!

So you see, there are always lots of things going on here, even without the major project to re-skin the church and rectory.

God Bless,

Sunday, October 5, 2014

HOMILY 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle “A” Oct 5, 2014

Have you ever had anything taken away from you by force?  Maybe some bully at school took your pen or your lunch.   Maybe your wallet or purse was robbed or stolen.   Maybe you were fired from a job you wanted, either because the company went under, or you screwed up?   Most of us have experienced a loved one taken from us by death.  We have all suffered loss.  Loss sucks.  Especially if the loss is taken from us violently.

In today’s Gospel Jesus boldly and confrontationally states:   “Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit."

That is a threat.  Who is the “you” that Jesus is speaking to?   Jesus says: “I say to you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you.”
          Well St Matthew tells us at the very beginning of today’s Gospel passage who the “you” are:  Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:”    
          Now think about that a moment.  Jesus is not addressing this parable to sinners, to tax collectors and to prostitutes and drug dealers and polluters and terrorists and such like that.  This threat is not addressed to the people we expect would be kept out of the Kingdom of God.   No, Jesus is addressing people at the opposite end of the social scale, “the chief priests and the elders of the people.”  This is the power elite in the Jewish world.  These are the most respected people, the ones at the top of society.  And they are going to have the Kingdom of God wrenched out of their tight little grip.
          Why?  Why does Jesus come down on them so hard?  What did they do that was so terrible?  Well, it is not so much what they did, but rather what they failed to do.  They did not use their power and wealth and prestige and knowledge and connections to do good with them.  
They used their status and advantage only for themselves, to feather their own nests, not addressing the needs of others around them, while their responsibility was for all of God’s people.  And when the prophets tried to tell them of their responsibility, they refused to listen. That is why the chief priests and the elders of the people resisted, and eventually killed, all the prophets leading up to and including Jesus. 
          And so the judgment of God is:  Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit."
          Now who has that Kingdom been given to?   Look around.  We are it, baby!  We and all the rest of the church.  We are called to be the “people that will produce its fruit”. 
          Guess what?  We stand under the same criterion of judgment that the chief priests and the elders of the people were measured by:   NOT, what evil did you avoid doing, but rather, HOW MUCH GOOD DID YOU DO?  How much fruit of the Kingdom of God did you produce????
          What are the Fruits we are expected to produce?    At the end of the first reading today, from the Prophet Isaiah’s song about the vineyard we heard, “he looked for judgement, but see, bloodshed!  For justice, but hark, the outcry!”    The Jerusalem Bible translates this line more poetically and more understandably as “He expected justice, but found bloodshed,      integrity, but only a cry of distress.”   
          Justice and Integrity are what we are called to produce.  That is the fruit of the Kingdom of God.  So, how has your harvest of justice and integrity been going lately?  Have you been having a bumper crop, or kind of meager pickings due to a drought of the Spirit? 
          We are all very, very busy.   And much of what we do all day, taking care of our family, providing for ourselves and our loved ones, learning and bettering ourselves to have the skills and abilities to contribute positively to society, and so on, are in themselves doing good.  And that is great.  But that is not enough. 
We have to make “doing good” a priority.  We have to produce the fruit of the Kingdom of God: that is, Justice and Integrity.  That cannot be something we do “after” we get done with all our other business.  Because doing THIS is our primary business, to build up the Kingdom of God, to produce its fruit.  That is our very great privilege and our very great responsibility. 
So, Will this influence how you vote next month?  Hopefully it will motivate you to at least go vote.  Will this affect how you talk about other people, especially other groups and classes?  Will this motivate you to be more generous in offering your treasure to needy causes, to donate time to helping with parish and community events, with using your skills and advantages to help others, beyond yourself and your immediate circle?  How will you work for Justice and Integrity, and so help promote the Kingdom of God?
          St. Paul in our second reading today gives us some help, some practical advice on being more fruitful.   
          “Finally,” St. Paul says, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,   whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received….
Then the God of peace will be with you.”  
And the Kingdom of God will not be taken away from you!            AMEN


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, October 5

There is an old Chinese curse: “may you live in exciting times.” Well, some exciting things are
happening here at St. Austin, so hang on to your seats. Fortunately nothing happens quickly around
here.

I am happy to report that we have signed some long term contracts for parking in our garage. These contracts basically are during the day on Monday through Friday, leaving the garage for our parish use on evenings and weekends. One parking contract is for seven years, with a commercial tenant that will occupy 40 spaces initially, eventually expanding to 120 spaces. The other parking contract is for about a year and a half with a construction company that will be building a new building catty-corner from our gym, on the location where the Lutheran Student Center is now located. It will be another high-rise student dorm, similar, I believe, to the Calloway House just up the block on San Antonio St.

 This new student dorm will greatly increase foot traffic in our area, especially during the academic year. I am afraid that there is little we can do about it except grin and bear it. Perhaps we will get more student attendance at our services since we will be so convenient to a larger group of students, and that would be good. In any case, these two parking contracts will, we expect, be substantial help in financing the garage debt and making ends meet in the parish.

Another exciting development here is that we are beginning to develop the scope for the renovation project of the exterior of our church and rectory. On Tues., Sept. 16, a presentation was given to about 25 parish leaders that consisted of myself giving a brief update on where we are in the process, a financial snapshot given by Trish Dolese, the Chair of our Parish Finance Council, and a wonderful presentation by the Sixthriver Architects on three different schemes for redoing the outside of the church and rectory, followed by input from the attendees. Clearly the “sexiest” (if I may put it that way) part was the presentation of the three alternate schemes for redoing the exterior of the building.

This same presentation will now be given on this Wednesday evening, October 8 at 7 p.m. in the Church. ALL Parishioners and interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend. We need your ideas and input. So please try to attend and help us to move the process forward. See you there!

God Bless,




P.S. 10/13/14 : Renovation information is now online! Visit http://www.staustin.org/renovation for details!