Wednesday, December 13, 2017
   
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From the Pastor's Desk - October 6, 2013

Dear Parishioners,
Good News! The contract with the general contractor, Vrana Construction, for the building of the Religious Education Center was approved by the Archdiocese this last week. This means that construction can begin. Vrana wants to begin some work immediately, so you probably will see things beginning to happen this week. Next Sunday, on October 13, there will be a ceremony in which I will bless the building site and a ceremonial groundbreaking will occur. This will take place after the 9:00 A.M. Mass. All are invited to attend. I know that this announcement comes quickly, but Vrana wants to get the project started while there is still enough good weather this fall. When the project was proposed a year ago and the survey of the parishioners showed over 90% in favor to move ahead with it, the architect estimated that the cost of the project would be around $1.1 million knowing that once bids were received it could be slightly more. In terms of the firm numbers that we now have (architect fees, the contractor’s fees, and allowing for a flexibility in contingency costs and furnishings) the cost ends up around $1.17 million. So we were able basically to hit the target on the cost of the project. In order to keep the project in the neighborhood of what the original estimate was, it took this whole year to hone down the design to where we met the needed criteria but kept items to the basics. I thank the parish and finance council members for all the time that they put into this process that helped to keep the project within line. Next weekend at the Masses, our Parish Council president, Ted Boro, and our Finance Council Chair, Ken Patry, will present to everyone the final details of the project. I thank all of you for your patience and prayers during this time that it took to arrive at this point that we are now ready to begin construction. It will take sacrifice as we pay off the debt of the loan that we will be taking out for the remainder of the cost beyond the funds that we already have to apply for the project.  I thank you for your support of this investment that we are making to provide the facilities that allow us to provide a conducive environment for the religious education of our children and youth and that will have the added benefit of our having extra space for other types of parish activities and meetings.
On next Sunday, Pope Francis, in the presence of the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which will be brought to Rome from Fatima, will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is the day of the 96th anniversary of the last apparition of our Blessed Mother to the three children of Fatima in 1917. At Fatima, Our Lady asked all persons to pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners and for peace. Our Holy Father realizes that this need for prayer is still so necessary today. To join in on the Holy Father’s consecration, I will lead a Rosary and a prayer that consecrates our parish to the Immaculate Heart, which will take place in the church following the groundbreaking ceremony next Sunday. All are encouraged and welcome to come in order to join spiritually with Pope Francis as he entrusts the world to our Lady’s Heart next Sunday.
By the way, in November, the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be here at St. Joseph Parish on November11. There will be special prayer times that day for which we will need persons in attendance. I will soon be providing more details regarding this special opportunity for us to know the intercession and protection of our Blessed Mother.
Have a wonderful and grace-filled week.
God bless you,  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.