Updates Continue

07-15-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

I hope that this page is the last for a while of full-length updates. I miss writing my more pastorally reflective page on the scripture of the weekend. I thought it was necessary to use this page to make sure everyone has the opportunity to know what is going on from my point of view. In another week or two, I will write some more on updates and parish matters. Enjoy this week because the weather is supposed to be wonderful.

Church: The asbestos removal from the upstairs and downstairs areas of our church building is now complete and the “mega project” can now start with full effort. Outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs and all around are the areas the contractors will be working to achieve our wonderful goal. Remember that the lower level Chapel is available during the day for Visitation and Prayer and can be accessed by the wooden door at the top of the driveway. The door has two beautiful flower urns on each side to mark the correct door. We will always have use of the upstairs for Sat/Sun Masses and Baptisms. The lift will also remain operational until the new elevator is completely working. The hospitality at Saint Jude’s for our funeral Masses has been gracious and wonderful. The contractor has said that by not stopping and starting each time each day for funerals (there were 6 funerals this past week, and 4 the week before) and transferring them elsewhere, we will save a minimum of 5 months of construction time and keep this major building improvement much less than less than one year. Those Parishioners who pledged assistance in this great project for all of us continue to honor their payment schedule. To those who have given generously, I say “thank you” on behalf of all whom in the future will be using the wonderful entrance and bathroom facilities. To be able to attend without difficulty and special assistance Sunday Mass, funerals of family and friends, weddings and baptisms and also parish meetings and programs is very important to all of us. This project is an investment for the lives of all of us who are part of the parish community of Saint Mary’s. We also had one (hopefully final) section of the lower roof of the Church re-shingled.

St. Mary Cemetery: If you have been in our cemetery recently you will notice a great deal of activity at the far end before you go over the bridge. We are constructing a “Garden of Remembrance” which will offer mausoleum niches for the interment of ashes (cremains). This beautiful garden area will have columbaria which will be constructed of granite which will match the grey and black gravestones of most of our present grave markers. Each niche will be able to contain two sets of cremains and the panel will be able have inscribed the person’s name and years of birth and death. Because this Garden area will be an open plaza, no special flowers or mementos will be allowed on or in front of the niches out of respect for all the other filled niches. The cost of construction of the columbaria and the Garden plaza is quite high. It will cost close to $250,000.00 to construct and thus the niches will be appropriately priced. Unlike some other cemeteries our interment and administrative fees will be less.

School Building: With all the Fourth of July activity in our parking lot and across at the Common, you may not have noticed that the school building and the addition have received major roof work. The addition has a brand new roof and the main school roof has received major repairs. The costs are around $100,000.00 to get all this work done. The Public Charter School will be leaving this coming June 30, 2019, but we need to keep the envelope of the building always in good repair as we sort out the future uses.