Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
This week I must start my bulletin letter with some very big news. After some 23 years of service to the parish, Heather Miller is retiring, as of July 1st. I am grateful that Heather has offered her many gifts in service to the parish over these long years. I know that she was especially important in helping to keep everything running throughout the sickness and death of Fr. Fillman, and in the interim time before my arrival. In particular I am grateful for the way Heather helped me in the huge transition from my past assignment. Knowing the parish as fully as she does, she has been able to advise on many fronts. I realize that my style is different from my predecessor’s, and here also I am very grateful that Heather has been willing to adjust, in order to assist a new pastor. Heather’s position really changed quite a bit in this past year. In order to thank Heather for her dedicated service, we will have an open-office afternoon and evening Wednesday, June 24, 12pm-9pm at the Paulding campus Ed Center. There will be lunch food and light dinner food at the appropriate hours, and other refreshments throughout the afternoon and evening. Stop by when you are able to express your thanks!
I have been approached with an idea for what promises to be an enjoyable and elegant evening event at our Payne campus. We now have on the calendar a wine-testing on Saturday, September 12 at 7 PM. Although some initial work has been done to determine that the event will be possible, and to research the various licenses required, we still need some people who are willing actually to make the event happen. Please contact Vince Schaefer at 419-263-2081 if you are willing to help organize this event. Although I have certainly tasted plenty of wine during my four years in Italy, and even since returning to the United States, I have never been to a wine-testing. I hope to get to one even before our event; and then to enjoy the one we sponsor.
We received the initial assessment from Martin-Riley (out of Fort Wayne) for the repair of the moisture problem at the Antwerp campus. They seem to have done a very thorough examination of all the ways that it seems water/moisture has led to the ruin of the plaster on the stairwell leading up to the choir loft. They took pictures to back up all of their findings. The recommended fix–involving many facets of the building–is estimated at $65,000. Needless to say, we will have to take special donations to cover this cost. I will present details at our upcoming finance council meeting, and then we will notify the Diocese that we have this project before us, in order to get initial approval. Then Martin-Riley will help us find three different general contractors who can bid on the work. (I am happy that the Martin-Riley representative working with us is also on the Finance Council for the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend; so he understands how these church projects must be moved along through church councils and the Diocese.) I also envision the need to communicate all of the details of the recommended project to all of you, so that enough of you can get behind the project, convinced that it makes sense. We will probably have display boards in the vestibule and/or hall of Antwerp’s campus; and I think we can also put together an e-mail packet with pictures and explanations that we can send out to anybody who requests it. If enough of you want to repair the problem, concretely supporting the repair with a special donation, then I think we can repair it (pending Diocesan approval). I think the proposal of Martin-Riley looks promising.
Finally, I wanted to say something about the new air-conditioning at our Paulding campus. It has been up and running for about two weeks now. Kneuve & Sons recommended that the fans in the new system always be on, so there is constant airflow to help with humidity problems. You can notice bubbling in the wall below several of the windows, due to moisture and temperature change. They recommend the same for the basement air-conditioning unit, i.e., that the fans always be on. The actual cooling, however, is not always on. The cooling function kicks in as the temperature sensors require. We will all have to adjust to this new system. It is much quieter, and certainly more predictable, and much more compact–opening up significant space in the choir loft. But now there is an air flow in parts of the nave that some people might not like. I hope we will all learn to sit in a place where we either avoid the airflow or take advantage of it, according to preference. I have already had people tell me they are going to reserve seats directly in front of the air flow; and then there are others who have already expressed their desire to avoid sitting in front of the headers. Please give the system some time to grow on you. If after some weeks you really think we ought to adjust something, feel free to give us some feedback–gently! [It hurts to get negative feedback, when we have worked so hard on this project!] Overall, given the many limitations we had trying to find a new system that could work in our Paulding church, I think things turned out quite well.The system seemed to go in without a hitch. Even the timing of everything – from gaining diocesan permission, to fundraising, to installation, to actually firing up the system for the first time – seemed incredibly graced.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,