After a long and cold winter, it’s delightful to continue to feel the warm breezes of summer and to enjoy the school year winding down for another year – I hope that this coming summer is truly a time of rest and peace for you and your family! We certainly ended the year on a high note – we were able to celebrate Fr. Dave’s 50th Anniversary as a priest, to witness the ordination and first Masses of two sons of our parish, Fr. Will Arnold and Fr. John LoCoco, and, in addition, received word that Fr. John Gibson will begin serving as our new part-time Associate Pastor later this month. We also had Confirmation, First Communion, May Crowning, and recently witnessed the Graduation of the new St. Mary’s Class of 2018. Fr. John Gibson will be with us beginning in mid-June and his first weekend will be the weekend of June 23rd/24th. He will celebrate the 9:00 and 11:00 Masses that weekend and we will have a small social for him after the Masses that weekend in the Atrium, please be sure to stop by and introduce yourself! That weekend we will also welcome back Justin Weber, who serves as our summer seminarian intern and who will be with us over the course of the summer months. Justin is studying for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
If you had the chance to read my letter in our regular stewardship letter the summer projects that you will see unfolding will not surprise you, but for those who were not able to read the letter I wanted to share some news on some of what you will see on campus this summer. One of the first projects you will notice is the resealing of our parish and school parking lots and re-striping the lot for parking as well as for games for the school children. This resealing is a necessary part of the ongoing maintenance of the lot and protecting it against the vagaries of Wisconsin weather. The second project you will see is the landscaping work in the front of the rectory. The two trees which are currently in front of the rectory are slowly dying and are regularly losing limbs and the time has come for them to come down, we will take the opportunity then to landscape that entire area. We are able to do this because of parishioners who donate regularly to the maintenance of the parish gardens and natural surroundings. The new landscaping will continue to enhance our property and tie in that parcel of land to the area outside the Adoration Chapel and the Atrium. The third project will be the polishing of the church floors. This project is not only one that will enhance the beauty of the church by returning the floors to their original shine, but also is necessary to protect the terrazzo floor from damage which comes from age. Due to the scope of this project there may be times when you come into church and see your favorite pew roped off as they clean the floor beneath and around it, hopefully they will complete the project quickly and thank you for your understanding. Finally, another significant project will be redoing the gym floor, our Athletics Association and Home and School as well as generous donors at our School Auction have provided the funding for this needed project – it is wonderful to see various groups in the parish come together in a single project!
If you recall, last year St. Mary’s was the recipient of an Elm Grove Beautification Award – we truly have stunning grounds which have been bequeathed to us from generations that have come before us, hopefully we are doing our part to pass them on to the next generation. Thank you for all the gardeners who help keep our grounds looking so beautiful, as well as our parish maintenance staff who work hard to ensure things are functioning as they should. Also, a special thank you to all of you for your generosity – your generosity allows us to not only carry on our mission as a parish, but to continually work to maintain the parish’s property.
I hope and pray this summer is a time of rest and grace for you and your family!