I wish to speak to you regarding 2 matters of importance:
First, In light of recent events in Texas and in other parts of the country, I believe we need to discuss the security of our church during Mass. I have asked Amery Bernhardt to chair a new Parish Safety Committee. Sgt. Bernhardt is a Westchester County Police Officer with 15 years experienced. He is a Certified Instructor through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Program. Our First Meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30 pm in the church rectory. Chief Kevin Keefe from the Town of East Fishkill will attend. I now wish to invite to this meeting any parishioner who works in law enforcement. Your presence would be truly beneficial. Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30 pm.
Second, About a year ago, the Archdiocese informed us about the Renew and Rebuild Capital Campaign for all parishes. Each parish has been asked to develop a list of capital projects. One project that came immediately to mind was to replace all the 50 year old school windows. Our next thoughts were of our church. I invited parishioners to be part of a committee to study the church. Many responded. We choose Eric Winogradoff to chair the committee. Some things came out of our study:
- We noticed brown marks coming through the paint on the ceiling. We realized we needed to paint the church.
- We saw how the carpet is deteriorating. We thought this was a good opportunity to replace all the carpet with tile, just as you see at St. Denis & St. Kateri. Maintenance is minimal and it will last for generations.
- The kneelers are shot and need to be replaced.
- We realized that the choir area needs to be reimagined.
- We learned that the sanctuary area is not to code. The middle step is too narrow with an overhang. Also, there are awkward steps into the work sacristies, and there is a big drop off near Mary where one priest broke his leg. We have a temporary rail there.
- We have a rolling wooden baptismal font while most parishes have a fixed, permanent and beautiful font.
- There was an attempt to add marble to the altar. Some feel this attempt did not significantly beautify the altar.
- The old baptism font that used to be in the narthex serves as the table for the Tabernacle. Nothing in the sanctuary matches.
- Significant money can be saved by installing LED lights.
I asked to committee to dream of an even more beautiful church. Many of their thoughts have been on display in the narthex. It is a work in progress. You are welcome to share your own thoughts as indicated in the bulletin. The committee hopes to present a final proposal for your review by February. At that time, we will hold some parish meetings.
I just wanted you to understand the process that has been taking place because, soon, you will be asked to support the Renew and Revive Campaign. This will help you to understand how your donation will be used.
Thanks for listening!