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From The Pastor's Desk - February 20, 2011

Dear Parishioners,

This last Wednesday the parish council and I met to discuss the feedback that we received on the church renovation/education center project. We received 59 responses in terms of the survey that we asked to be returned. Nearly all of these indicated positive support for what has been planned. On the basis of the feedback that we received we decided to move ahead with the detailed plans for the church renovation in light of the fact that we have the funds to accomplish this. We will now move to choosing the specific design and materials for such things as the altar, the flooring, etc. Further I met with the Finance
Council of the parish on February 3rd and they agreed with spending on the church renovation up to $225,000 of the current savings that we have, leaving us still with a sufficient cushion in our investment funds/savings. Our hope is that the actual church renovation could take place this coming summer so that we can take advantage of current favorable construction costs.

As regards the construction of the classroom addition, since we do not yet have the funds to cover this (only approximately $300,000) and we feel that we did not receive enough of an indication that the remainder of funds needed could be raised in five years in order to cover borrowing the money to begin it now, we decided that it would be best to establish a building fund into which we will encourage regular contributions to be made according to each household’s ability to do so beyond each one’s regular parish support. When we have accumulated the entire amount or near to it, then we could begin the classroom construction. This will also allow us the time to work out the details of the classroom plan according to some questions that were raised on the surveys, for example, that the roof should not be a flat roof, that classrooms need to be of adequate size, etc. Hence we need to work further with the architect, Bill Stott of the Architectural Offices in Omaha, to determine a plan that makes the best sense, which might mean coming up with an altered plan for how classrooms might be situated. We do recognize the need to do something to improve our space for religious education and desire to be able to embark on providing this as soon as we can but want to be sure that we have thoroughly examined what will be the best plan.

Finally, we have chosen Jim Mainelli, owner of Mainelli Construction in Gretna, to manage the church renovation/classroom addition project since we judge that he has the expertise to do so because of his past experience of doing such for other parishes, such as for St. Robert Bellarmine in Omaha. As I have more  information to pass along as the details get worked out, I will do so.

Let us all keep this in our prayers that all goes well as we take each step in accomplishing these improvements for the sake of our worship of the Lord and the Catholic education of our children.

Have a blessed week.
God bless,Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green, Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin, Dorothy Foged.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Sat., Dec. 9, Springfielder at Heart Dinner
Sun., Dec. 10, Christmas Open House 3 – 5 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 13, RE, 6:15 P.M.