Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fr. Chuck's Column, Sunday, November 2

A Happy All Saints Day (belatedly) to all you saints of St. Austin Parish! And a Blessed All Souls Day to you all as well.
The prayer, discussion, discernment and decision about our church and rectory renovation project continues to move along. Your comments, suggestions and questions about the three plans are still being solicited. These three plans were to get us thinking about what we want our appearance to be. We are getting ready to move to the next step in the planning process, so please email your ideas, hopes, thoughts and feelings to us at Positive statements of approval are also welcome, as are all thoughtful comments.
Meanwhile, in an effort to help identify costs, we are having testing done on the buildings to confirm if there is asbestos in the mastic that helps hold the stones to the building. That will affect our costs. Likewise, we are having some roofers evaluate the state of the church roof. If the roof needs to be replaced, that is obviously a cost we have to include. We have also, at the suggestion of the Diocese Facilities Planning department, engaged Robert Rizzo of Rizzo Construction, Inc. as “General Contractor at Risk” to assist us in the pricing during this design phase. He has already been very helpful in directing our thinking according to pricing.
The Property Committee has also directed the architect to give us a more refined plan to move the process forward. He is basically using Scheme 1 with some additions and refinements, and moving it forward to greater detail that we can more accurately price. The architect is in contact with the Property Committee (PC), and will present the new scheme at a PC meeting on Wednesday, November 19. The following week is Thanksgiving and the process will slow down for a bit. 
Then on the weekend of December 6/7 we will have a special booth at the Holiday Fair with a presentation of the new scheme. Members of the PC, the Finance Council, the Parish Council, and/or the Good Shepherd Comm. will be there to answer questions and receive comments and feedback. This will be an important milestone in the process and requires your participation. So plan to spend a few extra minutes at the Holiday Fair getting updated and sharing your reactions and thoughts.
Out of this will, I hope, come a much clearer and stronger architectural statement of who we are as a community; both our deep roots in this neighborhood and our strong desire to reach out, invite and welcome all who wish to hear the Good News with us. Please keep St. Austin Parish, the Property Committee, the Parish Council, the Finance Council and our great Pastoral Staff in your prayers. Thanks.

God Bless,

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