Six months ago if someone had said to me that we would exceed even our enhanced goal for our capital campaign, I would not have believed them. Right now we are inching closer to our dream goal of $4 million. Every day a handful of pledges is trickling in. Once again I want to thank the 567 households that have made their sacrificial gift, big or small. I also wish to encourage those who are still considering a gift; we do need and welcome your support. Now the parish may be wondering: “What next? When are we going to execute the capital projects?” I would like to dedicate this column to discuss the execution of our capital initiatives.
The timeline is dependent on several factors. First of all, we can carry out certain projects only at certain times. For instance, we cannot do the playground when the school is in session. In the same way, during the renovation of the Holy Family Chapel we need to find a space to celebrate our weekend Masses.
The second factor that determines when we do certain projects is the amount of cash in our capital expenses account. The pledge period is five years and most of the money will come in gradually. We are fortunate that quite a large sum of money has been paid out upfront by our donors. However, once the initial amount is exhausted we need to wait for more pledges to be fulfilled before we can undertake other projects.
The third factor is the bureaucracy that we have to deal with to complete these projects. There are so may permits and approvals that we have to obtain both from the village as well as the archdiocese before we can start a project. Taking these factors into account, we can give you a rough idea of what projects we will complete at what date. In this week's bulletin our business manager, Joan Macpherson, has laid out a detailed plan of the execution of the projects.
The first project we want to begin with will be the bathroom in the upper church. Plans have already been drawn up and we are waiting for the necessary permits. It will be a unisex family bathroom that can accommodate someone in a wheelchair. I am sure it will be a boon to everyone especially our senior parishioners.
Over the summer we would like to work on the children’s playground. Architectural plans are already in place and we are starting to get bids from various contractors. I want to assure everyone that no handicap parking space will be lost. However, the ordinary spaces may be reduced and as a result, the parking in the safe zone will be predominantly handicap parking.
Also during the summer months we will be renovating our Holy Family Chapel. At that time we can use the gym to hold our weekend Masses. Hopefully we will be unable to celebrate Mass in the chapel only for a few Sundays.
In carrying out these projects, I don’t want to upset our brides. No bride wants to see scaffolding in the church for her nuptials. We have already told prospective brides that we cannot celebrate weddings in our church during the months of January, February and March. We can make arrangements with our neighboring parishes and our priests will celebrate weddings there. Once the Christmas season is over, the work of painting the upper church will begin. It is our firm hope that it will all be painted and ready for Easter which is very early in 2016.
I also would like to let you know that new phones have been installed at the rectory. The new system has already made a significant difference in our functioning. Other technology upgrades will take place later. Detailed plans for installing an elevator in the Kinane Center and making the Adoration Chapel accessible Center will be underway soon. We are also working on the plans for the renovation of the rectory kitchen which will be undertaken a little later.
Since we are closing in on our dream goal, some of the projects on our wish list can be eventually undertaken. All the projects that we promised the parish in our brochure will be completed at their proper time. Our capital campaign committee and our parish council will ensure the careful and fiscally responsible execution of those projects. They will also give you reports on the progress of the campaign from time to time. Hopefully before the end of the pledge period – in five years – all our campaign dreams will be a reality.
I thank God for you every day. May God reward you abundantly for all that you do for our parish community! Please pray that this capital campaign will make us stronger, more vibrant and holier.
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...