A special congratulations to the St. Mary’s Visitation Class of 2022 which graduated this past Friday – we wish them all the best as they begin their high school endeavors. A further congratulations to all the parish children who have, or will be, graduated from various schools, high schools and colleges over this month of May and into June!
A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that St. Mary’s will be participating in the Archdiocesan Capital Campaign, “Love One Another.” You will be hearing more information on this campaign as we move into the second part of the year, but I thought it may be helpful to mention a few aspects of it right now. This campaign is being conducted throughout the Archdiocese with parishes participating in various ‘waves.’ St. Mary’s is in Wave Two. The campaign is designed to benefit both the Archdiocese as well as the various parishes themselves. We have been assigned a goal of a little over $2 Million. Of that $2 Million, 60% will stay at St. Mary’s and 40% will go to the Archdiocese in pursuit of diocesan wide goals. If we are able to raise more funds than our goal is at we will receive 80% of the money up to 125% of the goal; if we raise more than 125% of the goal, all funds will stay at St. Mary’s.
Funds raised for each parish must be spent on capital needs, in other words, they can not be used to fund ongoing operations which are usually funded through the parish budget. We are very blessed at St. Mary’s to not have a tremendous amount of large capital needs, however, in discussions with the Finance Council, Pastoral Council and Building and Grounds Committee we do sense that there is a need for an expansion of the Perpetual Adoration Chapel. Our Perpetual Adoration Chapel began in 1985 in a small room which now serves as the Ushers’ Room in the west vestibule of church, it then moved to the former baptistery where it is now. We have seen an increase use of the Chapel and at times it can be downright crowded. This is a magnificent thing to see and experience – so many people seeking the assistance of the Lord and stopping to give Him thanks and praise in the Blessed Sacrament. We also have the school children come over to spend some time in adoration, but due to the small size of the Chapel, they have to rotate in and out. The Chapel is a significant part of our parish and one can’t help but think that so many of the blessings which have been showered on this parish come in response to the prayers which have been offered ceaselessly over nearly forty years in perpetual adoration.
For this reason, we are beginning to consult and seek necessary approvals from the Archdiocese to formally begin this process, and to secure initial funding through the Archdiocesan Capital Campaign. The parish currently has no debt, is financially sound and has an opportunity to build a chapel for not only today’s needs, but for decades to come. Our initial thoughts are to locate the new chapel on the southern side of the church where we have space and for it to be large enough to accommodate regular adorers with enough space for an entire class from school to come in. By building new it would also give us the opportunity to build a space specifically designed for adoration, to allow us to upgrade safety for those who are there (especially at night) and that would blend with the rest of our parish buildings.
In addition to using funds for the construction of a new Perpetual Adoration Chapel, we would also like to use the campaign to raise monies which can be used to fund various physical improvements in the school as they come up. Of course this process is only in the initial phases, as we move into the capital campaign you will be receiving more information and see drawings, plans, costs, etc. We will work to keep you informed on the process as it unfolds.