The Pastor's Pen
In my column last weekend you read about the newly formed Mission Council. We have learned that in Central and South America there is a serious lack of clean water. According to the World Health Organization 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water. The water crisis is a health crisis. We narrowed our focus to Guatemala. Progress is slow in developing clean water systems in Guatemala. The immediate answer in providing clean water lies with individual families. There is help for Guatemalan families, and we can be part of the solution! The answer is a product call EcoFiltro. Stay tuned, and next weekend you will learn more about it when Eric Woratschka speaks at all the Masses.
In this month of Respect Life, we pray for a conversion of hearts to the dignity of all life, from conception till natural death. Changing hearts about abortion is a spiritual battle. We are gaining little ground in Illinois in the political battle. That is why sidewalk prayers and vigils in front of abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood are important. Come out to the Life Chain this afternoon. When you do that, you can make a difference to one mother to choose life for her baby. That is why we are partnering with First Step Women’s Center in the baby bottle campaign, because they are making a difference, helping moms choose life. That is why it’s important to support Springfield Right to Life. Please do what you can in giving witness, financial support, and continue to pray.
This past week we made the final payment on the new school roof. The project did not include the gym roof since it is the newest, only 19 years old, and is fine. I was up on the roof recently with Tom Hyde, our architect, and Jerry Smith. All looks good. The old chimney was removed, some new drains were added, and a new roof hatch is inside the 2nd floor of the school for easier access. We have a 30 year, water tight guarantee from Firestone, the manufacturer. The final cost, paid to Henson Robinson is $553,070, and the fee to Graham and Hyde Architects is $26,383, totaling $579,452. It came in slightly under the estimate, as no contingencies were used. We are blest in that we did not borrow the money to pay this. However this basically drained our savings, and the grant we applied for in regards to the roof was denied. There are still several other capital needs in the school: windows, flooring in the multi-purpose room and art/music room, electrical issues, new HVAC in the preschool. We have been able to upgrade at least 50% of the lighting in the school, working that into our annual budget. The finance council will consider how to best approach these needs. The school is a key mission of Christ the King Parish, and your support insures its viability now and into the future. Remembering the parish in your estate planning makes a big impact. Thanks so much for your support.
The Listening Campaign That We May Be Healed is officially launched. Last weekend I commissioned our 35 listeners, to begin their listening to 442 parishioners this month of October. Know that this is our parish initiative; it did not come from Bishop Paprocki or some diocesan office. I am not aware of other parishes taking this approach to understand the dynamic in the parish. If you are contacted, please accept the invitation to meet and talk. Ideally this would happen face to face. Know that your fellow parishioners are freely giving of their time for the good of our parish. Their feedback will be collated, and I expect to give a report to the parish on the Feast of Christ the King, November 24. Based on the needs surfaced, we will move forward with healing as early as Advent, spilling over into 2020. Please pray that God’s grace is poured over this important campaign.
This week I am away for 2 conferences in Chicago. I will be attending the International Catholic Stewardship Conference, with two parishioners, to learn and bring back best practices for stewardship and discipleship. I am also attending 50th anniversary conference of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. For years I served on our diocesan commission, and I look forward to hearing wonderful keynote speakers. Fathers Chiola and Lorilla will be filling in for me this week and next weekend.
In Christ’s peace,