"The Lord is near to all who call upon him/" (Ps 145:18a)
As St Matthew reminds us in this weekend's Gospel, feeling cheated because of someone else's good fortune is a tale as old as time. When the vineyard workers grumbled like jealous children, the landowner chastised their ungrateful attitude, "Are you envious because I'm generous?" A home schooled mom once exaggerated to me about her squabbling children that she wanted just five words inscribed on her tombstone: "Fair Does Not Mean Equal." She had four children in a span of six-years and it was imperative that she address head-on the inevitable sibling comparison and jealousy. But she also hoped that even a fraction of her words explaining authentic fairness take seed in their hearts. I recall telling her that it begins by appreciating what she has received because gratefulness begets generosity. Only someone aware of his/her own blessings can genuinely rejoice in someone else's prosperity.
The new, energy efficient boilers that will soon heat the school, offices and church are now installed. The contractor will be conducting a test run to make sure the boilers are ready to work for the next heating season. This massive, $230,000 project wasn't budgeted. The Finance Council cashed in a bank CD that came due to fund it. Fortunately, we now have a brand new lease agreement with the Seton School System that operates St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. Their monthly payments will also help towards compensating the parish for the new heating system.
We also invested $20,000 in improving the church organ. A humidification system was installed to assist in extending the life of the (original) pipe leathers by controlling the humidity in the chambers. Again, this upgrade wasn't budgeted. If anyone would find in his/her heart to contribute financially towards this project please let me know. Thank you for considering. Unfortunately, the organ builder also cautioned us that the pipe leathers (installed when the church was built in 1966) are becoming very brittle. They will eventually need to be replaced-in phases over the next few years. It is estimated that the replacement cost will be around $70,000.
I'm excited that our bimonthly Friday Fish Fry will return once again beginning on October 6. I'm really grateful that Jeff and Donna Figueroa have agreed to offer their time and talent to operate this community-building venue for one more year. They could really use some volunteers to help in preparing, serving and cleaning for the event. Would you please consider volunteering some of your time for this? Thank you so much.
In God's Time,