Monday, August 27, 2018

Fr. Chuck's Column, August 26, 2018

THANKS BE TO GOD, after much planning, work, preparation, we will FINALLY bless and dedicate the results of the major renovation project we have been involved with for the last couple of years.
Much work, thought, generosity, and prayer have gone into this project. So many have contributed, have prayed, have planned and prepared, and have worked diligently on our campaign. And the results speak for themselves. From a dingy, motley exterior on Guadalupe Street, our church now is attractive, bold, and appealing. It is SAFE, with pieces of stone no longer falling off the front. We have an especially attractive facade in the evening, with the rose window now lighted, with the beautiful copper sconces of St. Paul and St. Augustine, with the three black metal crosses, and the attractive new entrance to the new lobby.
And we have new BATHROOMS! From the very beginning of thinking about this project, that is what we heard over and over: to add bathrooms. Well, we now have handicapped-accessible bathrooms. We also have an attractive lobby for people to gather, a new meeting area in the Holy Family Room in the front part of the rectory ground floor, and a renewed nursery. These practical additions will pay benefits for some time to come.
But this is not time to rest on our laurels. This successful renovation is really done in order to enhance our mission, of reaching out and inviting people in to discover in the Catholic Church the community, the comfort, the sense of purpose as the family of God, that we are called to share. We need to use this blessing of the renovation to enhance our mission. Otherwise it is just so much nice window dressing.
I am very grateful to all who works on the planning, all who participated and contributed to the FAITHFUL TO OUR MISSION campaign, to the architects and plumbers, electricians, masons, carpenters, roofers, and all the other trades and workers who made this happen, to all our parishioners and staff who patiently put up with disruption and dust and inconvenience, and a very special thank you to my Paulist brothers who lived through the whole project, and many inconveniences, with patience and good humor.
I hope that you will be a part of this celebration next Sunday, September 2. Following the 8:45 a.m. Mass there will be a few speeches and then a ribbon cutting. Bishop Daniel Garcia, our auxiliary Bishop, and Fr. Eric Andrews CSP, the President of the Paulist Fathers, will celebrate the 11:30 a.m. Mass, along with our wonderful choir and a brass quartet. The Mass will conclude with Bishop Garcia blessing the new addition, and our joining in the Blessing. There will also be refreshments and other events throughout the morning. Please plan to join us.
It will be a great and memorable day for our parish!  

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