Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
First off, a couple of our extraordinary eucharistic distributors at the Antwerp campus encountered some significant circumstances that prevent them from taking Holy Communion to our shut-ins from that campus. If there is anybody out there willing to be trained, please come forward. In my opinion we have been heroic at our Antwerp campus, with lay distributors getting Holy Communion to our shut-ins every single week! And I am so grateful for such dedicated service! But, if we don’t have anybody new step forward, I think our best option will be to use the extraordinary distributors we have and simply lessen the frequency of our Communion to shut-ins. Perhaps we only get to our shut-in parishioners once a month? Please prayerfully consider if you might be called to help in this ministry.
Next, we had another the finance council meeting couple weeks ago. Here are the highlights:
- We reviewed the financial reports for the month: the balance sheet, the profit and loss statement, the accounts payable statement. Monthly internal audits are backed up a couple months, so we did not have a report on this.
- We talked about the need to install panic/crash bars on several doors at our Antwerp and Payne campuses. We had a meeting the following week with a contractor out of Van Wert to give us quotes on the various doors. The panic/crash bars will bring us into compliance as we implement some security measures, such as locking the entrance doors ten minutes into weekend Masses. It was mentioned that, “We just ought to have our churches open, so I have a problem with locking the doors.” Fr Poggemeyer responded that we really will not be locking anybody out. Only very, very, very rarely does any parishioner arrive beyond ten minutes into the ceremony. Ushers will have an eye on the door for parishioners who have to leave and return (for diaper bag left in the car?) during Mass. This is not in the slightest an inhospitable act. It is aimed only at those who do not intend really to participate in Mass.
- We reiterated what has already been in a previous bulletin letter: that we are looking for people to fill two very part-time positions: janitorial work at Antwerp, cleaning up the hall after its weekly use for PSR and other events when the hall is rented out; and somebody as maintenance coordinator for various projects at our Paulding campus. We don’t envision these positions ever being more than ten hours per week. Hopefully significantly less each week.
- We talked about Paulding rectory projects. The front porch is almost finished. There are still some touch-ups that need to happen. The final bill should be significantly less than the bid $25,000, given that the planned tear-down and re-build of the stone pillars never had to happen. Tri-County found a way to handle the repair without that major work. We are sending in the letter for the Bishop’s approval for the rectory siding project. For the last couple years, many parishioners have seen the way the siding has deteriorated, making it vulnerable to weather damage. The whole project (including some tuck-pointing and filling of holes in the stone foundation, as well as wrapping the basement windows to make them more weather-proof) is now planned for the spring time, and it will cost about $72,000. This price includes trying to maintain some of the details that my predecessor updated, such as a scallop design for the siding in the gables, and some of the particular color patterns where the roof arches meet the siding. But I think these details are worth maintaining, because they are beautiful, keeping period-character for the rectory. It doesn’t make sense to me to step backwards in the rectory look, when my predecessor put good work into bringing the rectory to period-style. Finally, I am continuing to ask what should be done about the consistent crumbling of the brick interior of the rectory’s basement walls.
- We donated $500 from our local outreach and mission fund to the Sheriff’s department for their annual anti-drug program in schools. This was a “no-brainer”. All of our parish school children benefit from this program!
- We are donating $1000 to the Visitation Sisters of Toledo, at the Bishop’s invitation sent to all parishes, on the occasion of pro orantibus (for those who pray) memorial. This is a yearly memorial, remembering those who devote themselves to constant contemplation and intercession on behalf of the Diocese. These sisters regularly receive from the Bishop a list of diocesan needs for which to pray. Personally, I contact the sisters regularly (and have since my ordination) for significant prayer needs for my ministry. What a blessing to have these sisters in our diocese constantly praying for us!
- The school endowment this year is yielding $6,633. The interest check arrives within weeks. It will go towards replacing the existing playground border, making the border concrete (so that hopefully even bike and truck tires will not break it!); and towards LED lighting conversion in the school.
- We held a mandatory school parents meeting in October. We presented the “time, talent and treasure” theme for the year. We remind parents of the basics: why we exist as a Catholic school; the various levels of tuition, based on community involvement; how to navigate the FACTS tuition management system; and the various scholarships available.
- There is still some water damage in the belltower side of the choir loft at Antwerp. We are looking at the possibility of drywall installed over some type of slats that would allow for some breathing room between the exterior brick and the interior. We’re pretty sure that the damage primarily happens in the months when we are using our air-conditioning. We are getting some opinions and quotes for this. We still believe all the work we did with the belltower and various other aspects of the building was useful to repair and prevent weather damage.
- We’re still trying to get somebody to visit the Antwerp campus to help us figure out the best solution for putting up different organ speakers, in a place other than the back of the organ loft wall, i.e., so close to the people sitting in the loft. We are still hoping to put a slight slant on the music numbers board to make it easier for parishioners on the other front side of the nave. We are going to add windows to the classroom doors in Antwerp’s hall, in order to be in compliance regarding child-safety requirements. We have to figure out how to repair the dryer venting system in the Antwerp rectory. The dryer vent does not yet vent outside the house.
- At Paulding, we are looking at a roof leak in the hallway running between the two sacristies. No contractor has been contacted yet to give us an estimate.
- We still have a problem with bats at Payne. We installed a cement pad next to the Morton building that will allow for clergy parking that is much more convenient – being out of the way of those who use the Morton building (e.g., fish fry preparers and school students on the playground). The cement pad cost $5,600.
- We are going to install some more lights outside the Morton Building at Payne, and on the side of the hall towards the Morton building. It has been absolutely dark on several occasions when I have left evening activities at the school or hall. We are working on cleaning out the gutters (which are totally clogged – even growing large plants!) on the Morton building, the hall and the school. We have to contact a contractor for the hall and the school. Somebody has already stepped forward to handle the Morton building gutters.
- We are awaiting response regarding our grant application towards the repair of bells at all of our campuses.
Have a blessed week! In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,