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

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 for details!

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