Looking to the future
Oct 11, 2016
On the very first day that I celebrated Mass in the "new' church I had several parishioners complain to me that they just couldn't hear all that I had said during my homily. I think they were frustrated because they didn't know why everyone else was laughing as I talked about the 'holy crap' that different charities kept sending me. One of them said that ever since the church was built they had a hard time understanding everything because of the poor sound system.
During my first year I re-instituted the liturgy committee and gave them the task of helping to resolve this issue. After much research and working with several different vendors they have passed on to me their recommendation to replace the current sound system and to add an Audio Visual (AV) component. I really like their plan and I think it will bring the sound directly to your ears instead of bouncing off the cupola first. I also asked them to incorporate the AV component because that is becoming one of the more powerful ways to deliver messages, announcements and visual aids to the homilies in many Catholic as well as Protestant churches throughout the country. In the next weeks we will be presenting the proposal for this very necessary upgrade to our church and we will be seeking your donations to make this a reality.
Also in my first year I reconstituted the cemetery committee and we began looking at a proposal that had been put aside several years ago to build a columbarium (a place above ground to place urns for those who have been cremated). As one of the commercials on TV points out 'Minnesota is leading the nation in cremations and within the next ten years they predict that cremation will make up 90% of the dispositions of the bodies". It only makes sense as we look to this future to build something that can accommodate this growing reality with dignity and beauty. Sometime in the next couple of months we will be telling you more about this project and giving you the opportunity to buy your future final resting place.
Additionally, in my first year I have been impressed by how fiscally responsible St. Joe's is with the gifts of money you entrust to us. However I have noticed that what our finance council has hoped to achieve in weekly collections has fallen short over the past couple of years. We have met our expenses and have been able to put some monies in the bank for facility upkeep and maintenance, but the Council recommends that we actually try to grow that funds so that we seldom, if ever go to you for donations as we are going to do for the sound system. Being a good steward means that we not only live within our budget but that we also save some for our greater future needs. We have been paying additional principle on our mortgage for the past several years and we hope to continue doing this so that we will finally pay it off in 2018.
After the campaign to raise the funds to purchase the new sound system with AV, I will be writing to you asking you to prayerfully consider your giving to Saint Joseph and to ask that you increase what you give if you are able to do so.
I hope you have noticed over this first year that I spent little time talking about money and asking you to give and that truly is my nature (I would rather help you discover the glory of God's lavish love for you), but one of the tasks of being pastor is that I have to keep the ship running with your help as well as God's. I hope it does not seem like all we are doing is talking about money and spending in the next couple of months, but if it does seem that way, then we will have been effective in communicating our present needs.
Hopefully we will continue to move into a secure future where we will be fiscally secure and at the same time always seeking to look beyond our needs to the needs of others.