Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Fr. Chuck's Column, March 8, 2020

Many things are going on in the parish and here is a brief update. First of all, as you know, at the initiative of the Diocese, we have temporarily changed several of our liturgical practices out of an abundance of concern for health and safety. For the time being we will not have holy water in the holy water fonts, we will distribute Holy Communion only in the hand, and we will no longer offer the common cup. We also highly recommend to stay home if you do not feel well. Also, wash your hands frequently; feel free to refrain from shaking or holding hands.
Meanwhile we continue our job search for our new director of stewardship and development. It took us months to find Dr. Andrea Pobanz, our director of music and liturgy, so this is not unexpected. Feel free to add this need to your prayer list.
The possible development project continues churning along with many meetings, much discussion, and scores of revisions. I would very much like to show you schematic designs, which are at least 50% completed. However, they seem to change several times a week, and until we have settled on something that is certain I don’t want to confuse you (or unduly raise your expectations) over something that likely will never come to be. However, I think we are close to something worth showing, at least in terms of schematics. I hope that will be in a couple of weeks.
We are also planning the renovation of the second floor offices and the former Subway space in our garage into a temporary home for our church offices and ministries during the construction period. That is moving along well.
Several real estate agents in the parish are scouting out locations where the priests may temporarily land during our “pilgrimage.” With the unexpected news that the Diocese will take over pastoral concern of the University Catholic Center come July, that has made it a little easier task. But so far, no decision has been made as to where the priests will live.
Also, the Property Committee has been busy. We are researching various parking management companies to see if it would be advantageous to us to have a professional company manage our garage. This would be a relief for our parish staff and provide better service to our customers and parishioners who use the garage.
We are also having locks installed on the elevators in the garage to be able to close them down at night, in an effort to better maintain them; the cost of this is $11,000.00.
We have been planning with our sound and light consultant, our architect and contractor to begin the renovation of the interior of the church. This is the replacement of our sound system and the upgrade of our lighting, which will occur in June, July and August. Because of the need to have a scissor-lift inside the church to reach the ceiling, all the pews will be moved. This means we will most likely be out of the church for several weeks during the summer. No weddings are planned for this period and Sunday Mass may be either in the school library or the gym, and weekday Mass likely again in the Our Lady of Guadalupe room. A fuller report on the interior work will come soon.
Meanwhile prayers are still requested and appreciated. Your patient support has been most helpful and conducive to all these projects moving forward.

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