Creation of “Mary’s Alcove!”

Dear Fellow Parishioners:

In the spirit of the Advent season, the prophet Isaiah has proclaimed “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Centuries later, John the Baptist continued Isaiah’s message (see Isaiah 11 and 35 for the full texts) inviting all to get ready for the coming of our Lord and Savior. As we approach the midway in this penitential season, how are we doing? Don’t despair if you need to put a little more effort in your offering, for like most of us, we can get lost and distracted amidst the busyness of this time. The key is to live in the moment; that is, make the effort today to focus on and act on the true meaning of this wonderful season. Yes, there is always hope!

I have another proclamation to make. You may have heard through the parish grapevine about an upcoming chapel renovation. Today I am confirming the buzz, as I formally announce the creation of “Mary’s Alcove” in our chapel! How did this come about? Let me back up for a moment.

Back in 2014, the Parish Council approved a new fundraising policy for our parish such that our parish now has two main fundraisers each year: 1) a raffle for our Feast of St. Edward, which is dedicated to our Social Outreach Fund; and, 2) a pancake breakfast held in January at the Knights of Columbus Hall—keep Sunday, January 15, 2017 reserved for this year’s breakfast—which is dedicated to special parish projects.

You may recall that in 2015 the pancake breakfast raised some $18,000 for new chapel improvements (e.g., new seat and kneeler cushions), and the 2016 breakfast raised some $11,000 for our new church piano. After much prayer and consultation, I would like to see this year’s breakfast funds go towards a new prayer alcove in the chapel which will be dedicated to our Blessed Mother Mary.

Why? Here are some of the reasons behind this project:

1. We have a space available in the chapel that is currently unused; namely, the second confessional. As I look to the future, I do not believe that our parish will ever need a second confessional; thus, the space is available for another use.
2. Currently our votive light stand is a safety hazard. This danger can be eliminated by moving the stand into the new alcove.
3. Although our chapel has a beautiful banner honoring Mary, I think we can do even better. By having a statue dedicated to our Blessed Mother in the chapel, we will be able to display a variety of banners/pictures throughout the year (e.g., Divine Mercy).
4. The new alcove will take the place of the south confessional. It will offer people the opportunity for personal prayer without disturbing those in the chapel.

I hope everyone will support this beautiful project by attending the January 15th pancake breakfast. Tickets should be arriving in every parish family’s mailbox shortly. A BIG THANKS to the Knights of Columbus for their support—note how fitting it is to have the Marian Council be the primary backers of this fundraiser dedicated to our Blessed Mother.

Finally, in keeping with our parish tradition of honoring previous pastors (the foyer was dedicated to Bishop Paul Dudley and the social hall was dedicated to Fr. Martin Shallbetter), I believe “Mary’s Alcove” should be dedicated to our beloved Fr. Mike Tegeder. I have talked with the Tegeder family, and they are excited at the possibility. What a great way to honor Fr. Mike!

Construction should begin this spring/summer. The dedication will be done by Archbishop Hebda at our “50th Feast of St. Edward” on September 10, 2017. Thank you everyone for your support. I hope to see you on January 15th at our pancake breakfast fundraiser.

Advent blessings,

Fr. Brian Fier
Pastor