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2nd Sunday of Easter
April 26-27, 2014 4
and 5:30pm & Preach all Masses
Saint Margaret Parish, Bel Air
There is a story about a little girl who noticed that her pastor always prayed for a minute before he gave his homily.
One day this little girl asked the priest why he did this. The priest was pleased that she noticed.
So he explained: “Well honey, I am asking the Lord to help me preach a good homily.” And the little girl quickly asked: “Well, how come He doesn’t ever answer your prayer?”
This weekend I do hope God answers my prayer. I am speaking at all Masses about an important parish project.
The Church Project: Needs
The project is the church project – the work we need to do on our 45-year-old church building.
Since 2011, I have regularly shared that our church building has major needs. We are now at the moment of action.
These major needs fall into three categories: Repair, Renovation, and Liturgical Enhancement.
Repair Needs are the most expensive and they are now critical. These include new roofing, replacement of both the heating and the air conditioning systems, and replacement of entrance doorways.
Renovation Needs are for bringing our church up to acceptable standards and desired usage. These include especially new restrooms and conversion of the baptistery into a gathering space.
Liturgical Enhancement responds to the desire for some refreshening and highlighting of our sacred space. In general, this includes light and color and spiritual imagery.
The Church Project: Finances
The total cost for addressing all of these needs is $3 million.
However, our Finance Committee and Pastoral Council have recommended and I have approved a maximum capital expenditure of $1.4 million. So, we have $3 million of needs and an approved expenditure of $1.4 million.
The challenge is that we must proceed now, immediately, with the repair needs. We can wait no longer especially on the roof and heating and air conditioning projects.
This means that we must divide this total project into phases. We will do Phase 1 now and the remainder of the project in the future.
The Church Project: Phase 1
And so, we recently entered into a contract for the following pieces of work:
1. The replacement of all the flat surface roofing
2. The replacement of the heating and the air conditioning systems
3. The replacement of the entrance doorways
4. And some artistic enhancement to the background to the sanctuary, including the installation of a large crucifix and the relocation of the image of the Risen Christ within the church.
The great majority of the cost for this Phase 1 will be for the repair needs. The liturgical enhancement will be a minor part of the total cost but we believe it will definitely enhance the sacred character of our church.
The Church Project: Financing
We will cover the cost of this $1.4 million phase in the following ways:
ü Using the remaining parish capital reserve
ü Using proceeds that have accumulated so far from the capital campaign
ü And drawing $550,000 on a bank line of credit.
We will manage our payments on the loan through the remaining receipts from the capital campaign and through the parish operating budget. There are more details on this is in my bulletin column today.
The Church Project: Re-Locating
There is one more important practical point.
To do this phase of work, the church will need to be closed from Monday June 9 until mid-September. So, we will need to be out of the church for about three months.
Weekend Masses will be at the usual time in the parish hall. Again, the six weekend Masses at Saint Margaret’s will be at the usual time but in the parish hall – which has recently been renovated and is air-conditioned.
Weekday Masses will be in the Adult Education Center and funerals will be at Saint Mary Magdalen Mission during these months. Now, everything that I have said and more details are in my bulletin column this weekend.
We will continue to communicate about this in various ways in the weeks ahead. I also welcome your questions.
The Pastoral Council is hosting a Parish Open Forum tomorrow/this afternoon April 27 at 1:15pm in the Adult Education Center. Your questions and comments are welcome there and at other times.
Finally, I thank you for your faith and your positive participation in this parish. We are undertaking an important and exciting project and I thank you for going through this with me this afternoon/morning.