The first Sunday of Advent! Christmas is right around the proverbial corner. You may have received some hints about what your loved ones might like for Christmas. Of course some of us take the easy way out and give gift cards for Christmas. That takes the work out of Christmas shopping but it also takes the joy and the creativity along with it. The perfect gift is the gift chosen in love. There is nothing like seeing the gratitude on our loved one’s face when they realize that we put a lot of thought and took time to search for that special gift. May I suggest that before you head to the mall you spend some time in prayer? Perhaps you might simply say, “God, help me to give gifts to my loved ones this year that will reflect not just my love but your love for them.” And then ask God to go Christmas shopping with you.
Darius Rucker sings a beautiful carol called, “I Wonder What God Wants This Christmas.” As I listened I thought, if our parish could ask for something this Christmas, what would Holy Family ask for? I’ve asked some friends to give us some suggestions about that. Mark and Joe, would you please help us?
Father, thanks for asking. Holy Family school was built in 1954. Looking at photos of then and now, With the exception of the windows the 2” metal venetian blinds, paint colors, and the faces and names of the students and teachers the classrooms and hallways upstairs still look much the same as they did on the first day they opened. The asbestos tile floors, the ceiling lights, the heating systems are all original. We did add window air conditioners several years ago, and all have served us well thanks to the excellent care and attention they have been given by the dedicated maintenance people over the last 63 years.
The legacy of Fr Marchino has lived on in our facilities through people like Ev Day, Larry Glotzback, Andrew Schmitt, Butch Volpert, Herb Edmonds, Dave Scott, Joe Uhl, Mr. Koofer, Mr Timperman, Jerome Bischof, Bill Beach, Ted Hublar, Jerome Stilger, Ed Grantz, David Hellman, Dan Gulley, Rex Phillips, Don Wachtel, Marty Gohmann, Gene Lilly, and generations of high school kids who dedicated their summers to waxing floors and painting walls. I can’t imagine how much money these people have saved our parish over the years with their time and ingenuity.
Thanks to the school leadership and generous donors our classroom technology has outpaced many other schools but the school infrastructure needs to be updated.
Our parish wish list for Christmas would include renovations that call for new ceilings with energy saving LED light fixtures, tile floors with bright new surfaces, new high efficiency heating and cooling with local control in each classroom which will eliminate dependence on an aging central boiler system, an updated electrical system, and topping everything off with a fresh coat of paint. Joe, what have you got to say?
Thank you, Mark.
Our parish leadership wisely made the decision to embark on a fundraiser to address the needs of our school facilities this past summer. We are asking for your support in this endeavor. Because we are simply repairing and updating our current facilities the Archdiocese will allow every dollar raised to stay here at Holy Family. This is not a 3-year capital campaign. We are asking you to pledge an amount that will be paid by the end of 2018.
The cost to update the 8 classrooms over the cafeteria is $283,000. We have currently raised just over $100,000. This project is slated to be completed over this summer and ready for our students for the 2018-2019 school year. Our intention is to raise well over $283,000 and the excess monies will be used to continue updating our facilities and becoming less dependent on an aging electrical and heating and cooling systems. Next, we will update the 2nd floor 1964 wing behind the church and adding a new heating and cooling system to the cafeteria.
Please help us make this happen. We need your support.
I am just one of many, who is passionate about our parish community. This is the only parish my wife, Pam has attended. Our three children all graduated from Holy Family Catholic School. They have all married and now attend Holy Family. They too will probably send their children to our School. Why? Because this is THEIR faith community. This is where our family worships, this is where our family was educated, this is where our family builds lifelong friendships, this faith community is the center of our family’s life. We all want to continue the Legacy. I truly believe we will far exceed our financial goals, so we can continue to improve the vitality of our parish community.
In your prayer before heading off to the mall I want to ask you to consider one final question this Advent, “God, what do you want from me this Christmas?” Remember what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians?
In him you have been made rich in every way… You are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the final coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be bold, will you? You know what your parish wants for Christmas. Ask God what God wants this Christmas.