Easter Was Beautiful
I have to say all of the Easter celebrations were beautiful. Attendance on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday was back up to pre-Covid levels. The only difference was that those attending were spread out into three venues. At the Easter Vigil we were able to baptize, confirm and give First Communion to three new Catholics. What a privilege for us! We will welcome an additional four new Catholics this Sunday at the 12:30 p.m. Mass. They were already baptized but chose to become Catholics. They will make their Profession of Faith, Confirmation and First Communion. I can’t wait! The outdoor Mass on Deimel field was amazing. I never dreamed that so many people would come. The ushers tell me that there were around 950 people in attendance. Thank God that we were blessed with good weather. Because of social distancing the most we can hold in our entire church building is 350. That means if we had not moved the Mass outside we would have had to turn away over 600 people. Creating a sacred space on Deimel Field took a lot of work, but it was well worth the effort. There were many people who had been absent for almost a year and were finally able to come back. They came back because the Mass was held outside, they had received their vaccinations, and they missed our church community and the sacraments.
Easter Thank Yous
Beth Campbell and Our Choir
All of the liturgies were well practiced and sung. Beautiful music always moves the soul! Thank you for your willingness to share your gifts with our parish.
Fr. Manny and John Cobis
Fr. Manny and John have spent this year preparing those to be baptized and become Catholic. This was no easy task. Much of the effort had to be done through Zoom meetings. Extra effort had to be made to help our catechumens and candidates to get to know each other. Fr. Manny and John, thank you so much for your effort in this most important ministry.
Cathey and her crew spent two entire days decorating our church, the chapel, Visitation Hall and even Deimel Field. They did a great job and so many people commented on how beautiful everything was. Thank you to Cathey and all the volunteers that came out Friday evening and Saturday morning. We could not have done it without you.
We all know that Kimberly is our organizer and list maker-in-chief. When she doesn’t have enough volunteers, she recruits her family. It’s hard to think of a liturgy or activity over these last few weeks that she did not make a significant contribution. Thanks, Kimberly.
Travis moved chairs, organized volunteers and built our altar platform. He was also on campus Easter Sunday with his beautiful wife to coordinate clean up and troubleshoot any problems which might have arisen. His presence was certainly a blessing to me and I am happy that so many members of our parish got to meet him.
Media Ministers and Russ Lenig
We are so blessed to have such a talented Media Team. We were fortunate to have our liturgies streamed prior to the pandemic. Streaming is now almost essential for any church to maintain contact with our parishioners who cannot attend. I don't know if you noticed, but almost every week the media ministry comes up with a new camera shot or feature to help the people at home pray. I was also grateful to Russ Lenig who came in on Easter Sunday to stream the Mass on Deimel Field. It’s a little more complicated than our usual media procedures; his expertise was essential.
Captains and Ushers
The Captains and Ushers did a great job at the 10:30 Mass and at all of our Easter Liturgies. I am so grateful for their patience. They do their best to keep everyone safe by insisting on proper social distancing. Many times their efforts are misunderstood and unappreciated. Thanks so much for all that you do for us week in and week out.
In the Works
D. Abbott Early Learning Center
We stopped planning and construction on our school’s Early Learning Center last year because we weren’t sure how things were going to go financially. Now, a year later, we have requested permission from Bishop Parkes to begin anew on this very important project for our school. I will keep you posted as we move through the process. Once the ELC is completed, all of the localities being used by the school in the church building will be returned to the parish as meeting rooms and a possible Youth Ministry Center.
Over Christmas Break our beautiful hardwood gym floor began to mysteriously buckle. Emergency repairs were required so our teams could continue to play in The Land. There were lots of theories on the cause of the problem but the most current theory is simply this: We have discovered what appears to be a small hole in the roof of the gym. When the rains came the water ran through the roof, down the wall, and layed on a low spot under the floor causing it to buckle. What a mess! Travis is in negotiations with our insurance company to see what they will cover and how soon we can get the floor fixed.
The lavatories in The Land’s lobby need a lot of work. They are impossible to clean and leave a terrible impression on anyone visiting our athletic events. As soon as summer break begins, Travis and Micah will go to work demolishing everything that is there and creating brand new, clean bathrooms. Because we are able to do it in house, the cost will be less than half of the project bids we received. With this last job all of the school lavatories will have been remodeled and will no longer be an embarrassment.
Sports Complex Storage
We are exploring ways to expand storage on our Deimel Field athletic complex. The grooming machine for the field is currently sitting outside under a tarp next to the field. There is simply no place to store it. Travis will present several ideas to the Parish Finance Council and Parish Council for consideration.
Baseball Screens on Fences
Vikings Baseball Coach Bobby Howard received a donation to put up the new baseball windscreens on Deimel Field. They really make a difference and now our facility looks even more professional. Thank you to the donor and Coach Howard for making this happen.