With a lot of help I did move out of the rectory and into the cottage before I started my time away as we anticipate the remodel. It felt like moving from home into a college dorm room, except I’m not sharing the room with anyone else. I tried to downsize in the process, and it will take some time to reduce the clutter. In a way it is like starting a new assignment, living in new quarters. So, to pick up from my last bulletin article
First, we have welcomed Analisa Fuentes to the pastoral staff as our Youth Minister and she will introduce herself to you this coming weekend. She is working on plans for the coming year with the high school leadership team, S.A.L.T and I have challenged her to reach out in person to every singly junior high and high school youth we can identify.
Second, the fundraising efforts for the rectory project continue to go well. You have contributed over $620,000 towards the campaign pledged total of $836,475. We are waiting for the permit from the city of San Jose in order to proceed on the project. Out of seven contractors who showed up the job walk, one contractor turned in a bid and it is a good bid, what we hoped for and expected. Presuming we receive the permit soon, the anticipated completion date is approximately May 2017.
Third, Shelton roofing will begin re-roofing the McKean Road church on August 8th, we expect that work to take two weeks. So, daily Mass will be celebrated in the little church during the work.
Fourth, after the church is re-roofed Artistech Painting will re-paint the church exterior, the outside cross, all metal handrails, benches and light bollards. They came in with the low bid of $18,523.
Fifth, we anticipate improving the fire safety of the little church by removing the three large non-native eucalyptus trees immediately in front of the church and significantly pruning the other four eucalyptus trees.
We are able to re-roof the big church because of a substantial restricted donation given to us for that purpose several years ago. All the other projects are coming out of our reserves. I am exceedingly grateful for your commitment and financial support to make the rectory remodel project possible. On the downside is that our Sunday collections are down from last year and the year before. We have lost some supportive parishioners through moves, deaths and other reasons and so their financial support is greatly missed. To continue the life, health and financial stability of the parish I am asking each household to consider an increase of time, talent, and treasure. Every gift counts, no contribution is too small or too great, but if you have not increased your contribution in the past year, past two years or even ten years, please consider an increase. Our current budget does not permit us to pay health care benefits to our hourly employees and they are relying on spouses’ or family health care plans at this time.
It is a matter of justice that we pay salaries according to diocesan guidelines and be able to provide health insurance benefits. In order to pay all benefits we need an additional $5,000 a month to meet these costs, or $60,000 per year to meet all our obligations. Please prayerfully reflect on what you can do to get us in the black.
Saint Anthony is a wonderful hospitable parish that lives the Gospel of welcome, mercy and compassion. You are the ambassadors who can make the difference by telling the Good News to others, inviting others to be here on Sunday and become members of the parish family.
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor