Dear friends in Christ,
I would like to give you an update on a few things around the parish. First and foremost, we were blessed with a most beautiful Advent and Christmas! Words cannot adequately describe how truly wonderful everything has been. From the tremendous outpouring of love on Gift Giving Sunday, to the number of confessions, to the crowds at Mass on Christmas, to the hundreds of parishioners who worked to make our liturgies so beautiful for Christmas by their selfless ministry, we were truly blessed. It was all wonderful and fantastic! On behalf of Fathers Richard, Chuck and myself, I would like to express a word of thanks for the wonderful remembrances of the priests at Christmas. Your cards, gifts, baked goodies and other expressions of love and support are greatly appreciated and mean the world to us. Thank you one and all.
In December, we began working on the renovations to the Activity Center. The building is now more than 40 years old and even with our TLC, some major items needed to be addressed. These repairs and updates will take several months to complete. Some of the most significant (and expensive) items will be hidden from the casual observer. One of the first things that we are tackling is the replacement of the air conditioning system. This alone is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Next, we will be addressing the exterior cladding of the building. This will be the most visible repair. The current cedar planks will be removed and replaced. We will take advantage of this to upgrade the insulation of the building which will help make the building more energy efficient. This will be followed by updating the kitchen, the court and finally the interior, concentrating on the Youth Lounge. We will be working on the building for most of 2020. If this project is like any other project, there will most likely be some surprises along the way. Hopefully, they will not be too expensive! The majority of the work we are undertaking is not very glamourous, but it is important to maintain the value of our investment. Most parishes are not as blessed as we are with such facilities.
The funding for this major project is provided in large part by the IGNITE Capital Campaign. Thank you to all who pledged to IGNITE! The parish receives 1/3 of all the completed pledges to the archdiocesan campaign. Because we did not meet our goal for the IGNITE campaign, we will have to go to our savings to pay for the other projects on our list. The shortfall will also delay the other items for budgeting and cash flow reasons. We still hope to complete all of them, but not as fast as originally planned. After we tackle the Activity Center and the Youth Lounge, we will evaluate and prioritize the other projects (Library/Den, Music Lecture Hall, south & west parking lots and the BBQ hut). We will address them as funds are available. If you would like to contribute to the IGNITE Campaign it is not too late and/or if you would like to contribute directly to any of our parish projects, it is certainly needed and greatly appreciated.
Outreach, Engagement, Discipleship, Leadership
These are our parish priorities. To that end, in early December we had discernment for new members of the Pastoral Council. It was a great day! We are blessed with fantastic parishioners who are willing to step up and serve. My only regret was that that not all of them could serve on the council! New to our pastoral Council are: Kathy Archer, Henry Egan, David Le, Charlie Moger and Vivian Ramos. They join our current members: Catherine Crochet, Mollie Delouche, Will Haley, Keith O’Connor, Leigh Schuelke, Trey Wakefield and Jim Wanja. A deep debt of gratitude is owed and sincere appreciation is given to those who have now completed their terms on the council: Angel Pozo, John Kill, Blanca Perez, Donna Grimm, Helder Eloy, Ginny Lee, Kyle Stanzel and Mary Toland. The outgoing members of the council played an important role during their term in helping guide the parish through our Continuing the Vision Capital Campaign, the church renovations, our 50th Anniversary and handling the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Next week we will be hosting John Poitevent of Parish Catalyst. John is a nationally known speaker who is one of the key members of the Parish Catalyst team in Los Angeles. A Texas native, John helps parishes and churches around the country to grow and become better and more dynamic faith communities. He will be here with us on Friday to lead a Day of Enrichment for parish staffs from SJV and a dozen other parishes. On Saturday, John will lead a workshop for our own ministry and organization leaders and those engaged in parish ministry. We are excited and pleased to have John with us at St. John Vianney. There are more great things to come, so stay tuned!!!
In Pace Christi,