I want to start by thanking everyone who helped make Bishop Checchio's visit to our parish such a success. It was nice to see a good crowd at the 11 AM Mass with our Bishop – especially in the middle of July! Although our choir was already on their summer break, a lot of them showed up to sing at the Bishop's Mass. Thanks for going the extra mile!
Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus – who served as an honor guard and lent their presence to the celebration. I am aware that many of the Knights also went to the 9:30 Mass at St. Mary's (which the Bishop also celebrated) as well. This is just one more example of the dedication of these fine men.
After Mass the Bishop was kind enough to join our priests for lunch at the rectory. We enjoyed a nice meal and pleasant conversation with him. All in all, it was a very uplifting and inspiring day.
Later in the day, Fr. Leo and I attended a picnic sponsored by the Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration Committee. This group takes the responsibility for planning our parish celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe each December. Like any big event, they work on this all year. The picnic is one way that they raise some money to defray some of the costs of the celebration. It was also a nice way to spend time with other parishioners. As I announced at the 11:00am Mass, our Bishop has approved the contractor we have chosen for the repair and renovation of our pipe organ. After hearing proposals from three companies who are qualified to work on our pipe organ, we chose the Peragallo Pipe Organ Company. They are a family-owned operation that has been in this business for a long time with an excellent reputation. Before the actual work begins, they will visit our parish and make a presentation about the work they will do. I hope many of you will attend.
While the contract has been approved, the actual work on the organ will not begin until after Pentecost. This is due to several factors, not the least of which is the scope of the work. In the meantime, we will continue to seek proposals and set timetables for some of the other projects on our agenda – such as the steeple repairs and Church lighting. Again, I will keep you posted – and cannot thank you enough for the generous support in all this.
On a related matter, many of you have noticed that the roads in our cemetery need a lot of work. I am happy to announce that we will soon fill some potholes and repave at least some of the worst spots. While not part of the capital campaign, a generous parishioner made a special donation for this purpose. The rest will come from the cemetery's own funds. Again, thanks.
Also, we are in the process of fixing up the post and rail fence that separates our cemetery from a neighboring cemetery and field. This project was suggested by a subcommittee of the Pastor's Advisory Council that recently identified work that needed to be done in our cemetery. My hope is that this can be completed quickly out of respect for the families of those whose loved ones are buried there – and for our deceased brothers and sisters.
Please say a Hail Mary for me today, and every day. You are always in my prayers. Let's keep praying for the rest of our parish, and for peace.
Have a great week!