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Behind The Scenes…

Dear Parish Family,

There are so many things happening here at Sacred Heart and trying to keep on top of them is a real challenge so for the next few weeks I am going to update you of things that are going on “behind the scenes.”

Three years ago we held our capital campaign asking people to pledge to “Our Family…Our Faith…Our Future.”  I wish to thank all those who are honoring their pledge.  We are counting on each and every one of our parishioners to honor their commitment to our parish so that we can complete all the necessary work.

Because of your contributions we have been able to complete phases one of our renovations.  We have replaced the roofs and gutters of the parish center and the church and have added insulation. The total cost of these improvements was $171,000.00.  These improvements have already proven to be more energy efficient.

Phase two of our project is coming along.  Additional storage space has been created in the choir loft which has been re-purposed as a parish library and conference room.  The new audio/visual system has been installed in the church along with a new “cry room” on the tabernacle side of the church where the former confessionals and storage room were located.  The day chapel is almost done; shortly all the new flooring will be installed in those areas.

This summer we will begin work in the altar area (sanctuary) reshaping the altar, moving the organ and Tabernacle and enlarging the space for music ministry.  As you may know we have made a commitment not to finance a loan for the work we are doing but will upgrade and renovate as campaign pledges are honored.

Some people who made pledges have moved and others are unable to honor their pledges due to changes in their financial picture.  At this point the loss of that anticipated revenue adds up to $87,000.00 – a large amount, almost 10% of our pledged income.  This will impact the outcome of our project.

If there are people who are in a better position at this time to pledge or are new to the parish and would like to make a commitment, please let me know.  We need assistance from everyone to complete the work we are doing.

Once again, thank you for your support.  None of the work that we have done would be possible without you.  And a Happy Fathers Day week to all our dads!

Fr. Bill

Healing Mass

Dear Parish Family…

Next Saturday June 20th I am inviting all those who are senior citizens and those who are in need of healing to come to a “Healing Mass” at 11:00 A.M.  Following Mass there will be a light luncheon (You must RSVP by June 15th).   I want to offer everyone an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Healing twice a year.  Remember, Anointing of the Sick is a Sacrament of Healing – our prayers are for healing and not for “dying.”

Every now and then I hear some talk about “last rites,” which is not at all a particularly useful phrase because it opens the door to much misunderstanding.  Many Catholics presume it refers to the Anointing of the Sick, but there is nothing “last” about this Sacrament.  The Church teaches that anointing is to be celebrated early on in an illness for healing in body, mind and spirit, and not as a last measure.

It is my hope that we will offer the Anointing of the Sick twice a year for those who are unable to join us following the last Mass on the Second Sunday of each month.  It is my hope that we schedule these services once during the Advent and Lenten Seasons.

So again I extend the invitation especially to our seniors to join us on Saturday June 20th at this “Healing Mass” and invite you to join us for the luncheon following the Mass.

Fr. Bill

Recalculating in the Parish

Dear Parish Family…

Our homily series for the next eight weeks in entitled “Recalculating.” It is something we need to do as individuals, as a parish and the Catholic Church in general.

As our closing ritual of Pentecost Sunday dramatized (carrying the lighted Pascal Candle out to the world) and our Gospel on Trinity Sunday “go out at make disciples” commanded us; we need to take the great commission of Jesus seriously and reach out to those who have chosen to disengage with our Catholic Faith.

We have been making efforts on our campus to make God’s house a home, by introducing new technology in weekend worship, moving the family room from the back of the church to the front so that the altar can be seen throughout Mass, rather than looking at people’s backsides as we were told; by reshaping and sharpening our faith formation, and continuing to be a welcoming community. All these efforts are attempts on our part to be “user friendly.”

No one registers in the parish with the intention of disengaging down the road. I know that many grandparents and parents are saddened when they have done everything “right” to introduce their children and grandchildren to our Catholic faith, and they become inactive. We tend to point fingers and blame those who drop out, but instead of finger-pointing we need to listen to the hurts and pain that some are experiencing.

Those of you who attended the 9:30 Mass last week for the graduating high school seniors knows how wonderful it is to come to Mass when there is a church full. What a celebration it is, and how uplifting it is. Wouldn’t it be great if the community could gather and celebrate that way at every Mass every weekend!

All members of the community hurt from inactivity. Who is willing to take the risk and gently and respectfully invite someone who has drifted away to come home? I am hoping that as a community, we will be willing to take the risk together.

Fr. Bill