New Organ News
I thought it was timely for me to give you an update on our new organ project. The work is being done by the Noack Organ Company in Massachusetts. The pipe scaling has already been prepared and they have drawn the windchests. Didier Grassin, the president of the company, will be here, probably in May, with some sample pipes and will use our current organ to set up sound references which in turn will create the base for the pre-voicing of the other pipes. The entire organ will be built at the Noack facility and then transported to our church, probably in October. Installation will take about two months. We will have the organ in place for use by Christmas.
We have made the down payment and since December 1 st have been making a monthly payment. As you know, this project has been made possible by your generous support of the 2019 Catholic Services Appeal. We have already paid to fulfill our target amount for the Archdiocese of Detroit. As you continue to make your pledge payments, know that all of it goes to pay for our new organ. In fact this is how we are making our monthly payment. Your dedication in fulfilling your pledges will make this happen and we will soon have our long awaited organ. I am very appreciative.
Next Sunday we begin Catholic Schools Week and I would like to invite you to Our Lady of Refuge School Open House. It will be next Sunday from 10am to 1pm. If you have never been to our school or its been a long time since you have visited, I ask you to come. It will be an opportunity to see our school building, see or meet some of our teachers who will all be in their classrooms. Tours will be offered (if you wish one) and there will be refreshments provided.
If you have school age children, this is a great time to make inquires. If you have grandchildren or know of children/parents that might be interested in our school, let them know about our Open House.
One other note that makes our school very attractive is that we decided not to raise the tuition or any fees for the 2019- 2020 school year.
We are very proud of our school: the quality of our curriculum, the emphasis on learning and growing in our faith, staying current with the latest technology and constantly making upgrades to the physical condition of the school.
There is a lot to observe. Check us out next Sunday.
We are blessed with the joy and grace of the Christmas season. That spirit continues with today’s solemn feast of the Epiphany as the child Jesus is manifested to the whole world as our Savior and Lord. This is shown in the meaning of the Three Kings coming from far away to be with the newborn King. Our Christmas season concludes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday, January 13.
I am well aware that many parishioners put forth a lot of time and energy to allow for these beautiful days of the Christmas Season to happen. Many people in the parish have a true sense of ministry as they share their talents and volunteer their time through their involvement in the Stewardship Commission, the Christian Service Commission, the Worship Commission, the Education Commission, and the Religious Education program. All of these groups were very busy during the Advent and Christmas seasons. We as a parish have benefited from their efforts and we are grateful.
I also express thanks to all of you for making my Christmas so joyful. It is indeed a time to proclaim our faith, to be inspired and encouraged as we all grow further in our faith. I appreciate all who sent Christmas cards, gifts and baked goods to the rectory. I enjoyed them all. Thanks.
The Christmas season is upon us. What a joy as we celebrate our faith! We are truly blessed as God comes to us. May we always know his presence with us and be able to share the goodness of God that is within us. May we show this in all of our relationships as we exercise patience, understanding, compassion and forgiveness in a special way during this holy season.
I thank you for being a part of our faith community here at Our lady of Refuge. I enjoy being your pastor and I appreciate the support you give in many ways so that our parish fulfills its mission. This has been a very good year. It is hard to measure growth in faith. However, this is our most important purpose. I pray that all that we do at the parish is a source of inspiration for our faith life.
We thank God for the blessings we have received. As we celebrate Christmas may we be very aware of all the blessings He sends our way, and may the New Year bring us many more blessings and graces to our parish and to our families. Merry Christmas!
New Pipe Organ Project Approved
The Archbishop received the recommendation of the Archdiocesan College of Consultors and approved our plan to purchase a new organ for our church. The contracts were signed at the end of November and the down payment was made. We have already made our first monthly payment (for December). The cost of the project is $499,860.00. The planning and approval process went very smoothly because of the support and generosity shown for this effort. I was able to show the Archbishop that we raised all the funds through your donations to the Catholic Services Appeal.
The design and ordering of the technical parts has already begun by the Noack Organ Company. The construction will take place at the company’s site in Massachusetts and delivery will occur next fall. The final stage will be the actual installation that will be completed a year from now. We have been assured we will have the new organ for next Christmas. I ask for your prayers for the continued success of this project.
Christmas and Year End Donations
I use the occasion of this season to encourage you to make a Christmas gift to the parish or a year end donation that might help your tax situation. If you missed some of your weekly donations during the year, this would be a great time to do the make-up. Your donations are always appreciated.
Just as with your own home, there are always some surprise expenses that you were not counting on. Our surprise this year occurred just recently in October and November with the failure of the boiler in our school. At the cost of $119,000 we replaced the entire boiler as quickly as we could. We were able to cover this cost through our savings account. That’s why we have a savings account.
Now we need to rebuild that account. God has indeed blessed our parish If you are able to respond to this appeal, I am grateful and so is the parish. Good, holy days ahead for all of us.