Here’s another hodgepodge of items to comprise my weekly letter:
-The Divine Mercy School year seems to have started out very well. Our new principal, Mr. Joe Linder, is doing a great job. One of his first challenges was dealing with a power outage the first week. The major power line feeding the school from the electrical pole outside was frayed. No power (no a/c!) for several hours. The classrooms look great, with a new paint job (thanks to some very dedicated volunteers!!), and with new whiteboards and electronic smartboards. I made classroom visits for the first time on Thursday, September 1, and I successfully spent half an hour in each classroom, using slides that I created on SmartBoard software. (Admittedly, there were a couple glitches, but overall pretty smooth.) Thank the Lord for his abundant grace! The Smartboards are great technology, and we are proud to have them in our school. Our teachers now have some extra tools at their disposal to animate a lesson.
-Our first school Mass was weather-delayed until the second week of school. The principal, faculty, staff and students all made commitments at the end of Mass to learn, love and serve during this school year, for the greater glory of God. The students were well prepared for this first Mass, all of ministers doing their parts quite well, and students participating beautifully. I’m sure it will only get better as we get more accustomed to the routine throughout the school year.
-This Saturday, September 10, we had the Rosswurm Golf Scramble Fundraiser for the school. Money raised from this event helps families that cannot afford school tuition. Although at the time of writing this letter, the golf scramble has not happened, I can still whole-heartedly offer my thanks to the many dedicated parents and teachers who put so many hours and all kinds of heroic effort into making it successful. I sat in on three of the school council meetings, whose members organized the entire event. Very capable and generous people! Many others also provided various donations and signs and prizes to add to the financial success of the event. Thank you to everybody who took part in any way! Certainly to the golfers!
-On another note, I believe that the Antwerp moisture project should be near completion by the time of your reading this letter. We had a couple of delays that carried the project beyond its end-of-August deadline. The electrical power lines closest to the belltower had to be moved, rather than merely covered; and this surprised both the contractor and us alike. It also cost all of us a little extra money. Then there were some weather delays. Then there was a funeral that kept the work crew away for half a day. But overall things seem to have gone quite smoothly. You might notice that the new, brownish-colored shingles put on top of the vestibule roof do not match the green-grey shingles over the rest of the church. That is because we could not find a new shingle close enough in color to match. The new brownish color was chosen, with some foresight, some consideration that in the not-too-distant future we might put on a new roof at Antwerp, and the color chosen will surely have a match. The new louvres on the belltower look amazing. They have a depth and a design to them that will definitely keep out far more moisture than did the old louvres. In my opinion, this will be the single most important improvement of the whole project.
-In addition to the tuck-pointing and new louvres, new flooring was installed into the belltower. The old flooring was cracked, and the wood directly underneath a bit rotted. All of this had to be fixed. Finally the inside, most visible walls, had to be replastered.
-For anybody who went on the pilgrimage to Rome last February, we are having an Italian Reunion Potluck on Sunday, October 2nd, at 5pm, in the basement of Paulding’s church. We will watch the video collage of the pilgrimage and reminisce and enjoy. Please watch for e-mail details regarding how you can participate.
-Along similar lines, I will soon have a meeting to check interest on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in February of 2018. That meeting should occur this fall. I have a tentative itinerary set. Margie McDaniel, who organized our Rome pilgrimage, will do the same for our Holy Land pilgrimage. Also the Holy Land guide will be the same man who guided the pilgrimage I chaplained with Steve Ray and Scott Hahn several years go. He is a very faith-filled, knowledgeable and competent guide. Watch for details soon on this meeting to guage interest.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,