During the past months, we have accomplished a number of small and larger maintenance jobs. The trellis around the parish hall and Rooms A, B, C, D are completed. The parish gym walls have been painted and the floor has been refurbished. I would like to thank CYO Director Leo Lopez and his team, Mr. Silveira, our school principal, and John Kluesener, our Facilities Manager who worked together on this project. Mark Hall, our maintenance staff worked with a college student to complete this work in a timely manner. Unfortunately, we won’t be having CYO games this year, but we are hopeful that we could do it early next year. Leo Lopez is working hard to bring back sports at the earliest.
Last week, we completed some repairs and maintenance on our church ceiling, and painted some areas that were scarred from the past water leaks. Mark replaced all the light bulbs with LED. We were changing 2 bulbs almost every week last year, and most of them are really hard to replace because of the height. We hope we won’t have to replace any lights for the next 10-15 years. The big picture: LED lighting converts 95% of energy consumed into light, unlike incandescent bulbs, which convert only 10% of energy for light. The 90% of energy remaining is wasted as heat. With solar panels and highly efficient lights, we will continue to save money.
Rest assured, we’ve been working hard to bring an enhanced experience to participants in our online masses and other celebrations like weddings, funerals and baptisms! As you might imagine there are many technical variables involved, but utilizing both hardware and software, we are able to switch between multiple cameras and PowerPoint slides for our main weekend mass. In addition, we are able to connect the livestream software directly to the main sound system on the lawn providing a much better audio experience for the online viewer. We have a smaller scale, single camera setup to manage daily mass, rosary, Thursday speaker series and more. Both systems were designed with portability and simplicity in mind, with each event able to broadcast to both Facebook and YouTube, as well as backup recordings if needed.
One of the critical requirements has also been to use equipment and software that we can easily train others on & migrate to use inside the church as needs and opportunities to do so arise. Bear with us these next few weeks as we fine-tune the features and skills needed to offer the best “digital church” experience possible! Thank you, Mike Hall, for leading this effort with our team.
One of the issues that finds Catholics deeply divided today is the issue of Pro-Life. Regrettably, we find ourselves perplexed and confused on this all-important doctrine and practice. Politics get chaotic and our leaders pit us against one another during this season. Of course, after the election, most of us forget about what was debated and voted for, and lives continue without demanding accountability and progress.
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1983 coined the phrase "consistent ethic of life." Catholics were reminded that being pro-life also includes being opposed to euthanasia, the death penalty, assisted suicide and unjust war.
The 1986 Respect Life brochure states, "The Pastoral Plan is set in the context of a consistent ethic that links concern for the unborn with concern for all human life. The inviolability of innocent human life is a fundamental norm." Furthermore, the bishops' pastoral letter, "The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response," emphasized the sacredness of human life and the responsibility we have, personally and as a society, to protect and preserve its sanctity. In paragraph 285, it specifically linked the nuclear question with abortion and other life issues:
When we accept violence in any form as commonplace, our sensitivities become dulled. When we accept violence, war itself can be taken for granted. Violence has many faces: oppression of the poor, deprivation of basic human rights, economic exploitation, sexual exploitation and pornography, neglect or abuse of the aged and the helpless, and innumerable other acts of inhumanity. Abortion in particular blunts a sense of the sacredness of human life. In a society where the innocent unborn are killed wantonly, how can we expect people to feel righteous revulsion at the act or threat of killing non-combatants in war?
Today, we can build on Cardinal Bernardin's seamless garment thesis that all human life is sacred by working to prevent premature deaths. People shouldn't need to die from hunger, lack of affordable health care, gun violence and other societal injustices.
I don’t believe that we should be on opposite sides of such a pivotal issue. Is one pro-life area more important than another? According to Susan Vogt “This is where we get into political divisiveness that has recently been ripping our country apart. It can turn people of goodwill into enemies.” During this season, we must focus on what we have in common without picking and choosing and how we all are ultimately on the same side — being fully pro-life.