Please keep praying for the right person to lead our music at Holy Mass! I have had several people ask me how the search is going. As of the writing of this letter, I have received three resumes. None of them ended up working out. We have advertised on the website of National Pastoral Musicians, on the Diocesan website, and at a number of colleges that have music programs. We are finding subs to cover music in the meantime.
On another note, a big New Year's event for me was the breakdown of the rectory boiler. It was actually pretty old. And there was no way to repair it, because the long-term damage was that bad. Luckily, it went kaput right after the extreme cold spell we had through Christmas, i.e., as we had that warm break in the weather. So I survived. And, by God's providence we found an available model in the Toledo area as a replacement. One of the first things I heard about was how another institution had to wait for many months for the right boiler – given supply chain problems everybody is experiencing these days. You'll see the final cost in notes from our next finance meeting. I am hopeful we can get the job done for about $13k. One bright side: the model we are putting in (which is super close in cost to what would be the exact model that was there) is actually a split boiler. This means that only half the boiler will be at work, whenever that will suffice to get the job done. In the long haul we expect some significant savings, since the whole boiler won't have to turn on, when half will do the trick.
On still another note, we have known for a number of years that the large double-oak tree to the north of the rectory, in the parking lot across the road, east of the church, is in danger of falling. Although it looks quite green and bushy, it was hit on a couple occasions by lightning. The main trunk leaning east towards the apartment complex and electrical wires has a huge crack in it that spans half the diameter of that trunk and runs all the way to the ground. (See photos below.) We were warned a number of years ago, and then again this past year, that there is significant risk that in high wind the tree could come down. It would cause major damage to the wires and the apartments. I don't think we have a choice, other than to cut that tree down. The liability is too great. We considered all our options. I've consulted with finance and pastoral councils on this, and had numerous talks with other parishioners. I realize that tree is beloved, but there is really no other practical solution. At my last parish, we – the parish – were on the other end of such a decision. A neighbor had a huge portion of a tree that was in danger of toppling into our parking lot, perhaps onto parishioners' cars (who knows the timing of such mishaps?); and those neighbors graciously made the right decision to protect our property. They took the tree down. Thanks for understanding.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,