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From the Pastor's Desk - March 11, 2015

Dear Parishioners,

Recently our parish received a generous anonymous donation of $50,000 from one of our families. This was donated with the intent that it be used for various needs that have come up. There are three immediate needs for which the donors are pleased to see this donation utilized.

First, there is the need to do some regrading on the east side of the new Religious Education Center. With the heavy rains that we had last summer and fall, it was discovered that the slope is too steep for water to drain properly. I and the Parish Council are currently in the process of determining the cost to do this. From one bid, the cost will not exceed $20,000.

Second, I am sure you have noticed, attention needs to be given to the microphone system in church. The wireless microphone jacks that are used at the ambo and for the choir have batteries that went dead and can only be replaced with totally new units. Also, I have received feedback from various parishioners that there are spots in the church where it is difficult to hear the microphones that we currently have. I had Midwest Sound , who has done microphone systems for such parishes as the Cathedral, come and do an assessment of our system. They noted that we need to have several things done to improve the microphone system. They should be able to make these improvements in about a month. Until then, I ask your patience as we try to do the best we can with using the lapel mics for the lectors and the choir, which will not be optimal. The improvements will cost in the neighborhood of $8000. After these improvements are made, if there are still some dead spots and bounciness, there are some other enhancements that can be done, but Midwest Sound wants to wait for us to see if these will be necessary.

Third, this winter we took steps to address the safety of our children when they are dismissed from Religious Ed on Wednesday evenings. Some were running out into the parking lot. Therefore we initiated a pick-up process where they have to wait on the sidewalk until their parents pick them up. In evaluating this, it was noted that, when it is dark, the current lighting of the parking lot is not adequate for safety. Currently, Rich Van Tassel is checking with electrical companies as to what might be done to improve the lighting of the parking lot, so we do not yet have a cost for this.
Our Lord has certainly blessed us that, as these various needs have come up, we have received the means to take care of these!

On another note, three years ago when the church renovation was done, one of our families anonymously donated $100,000 for outside landscaping to be done. About $14,000 of this was not utilized. Recently the donor indicated that because the flooring has never been replaced since the social hall was built, they want to take what is left and have it used inside for new carpeting and tile in the social hall as well as possibly a few other enhancements such as recovering seats of the pews in the cry room area. Hence, sometime in the near future, this will take place.

And, once again, I thank all of you for your generosity for your pledges for paying off the loan on the Religious Education building. With what we have received in fulfillment of pledges thus far, we will be able to pay down the loan $220,000, leaving us with about $300,000 yet to pay.

As pastor, I thank you and Our Lord for the generosity of all of you in your dedication to providing for both the pastoral program needs and physical operational needs of our parish. All of you are awesome and make St. Joseph's such a wonderful parish! May Our Lord bless all of you who contribute however you can to taking such loving care of our parsh!

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.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Tues., Oct. 17, Ladies Guild, 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 18, RE, 6:15 p.m.