Last week two layers of roofing were removed from our church and replaced with a new roof. This was mostly paid for by insurance since a lot of the damage was caused by Sandy. I have to thank Lenny Weg for patiently negotiating with the diocesan insurance division. Lenny turned 75 last week and I hope he has many more healthy years to come.
I know some people have been complaining about some of the extra collections that I have been taking. I had wanted to take advantage of the many outsiders and visitors to our parish for these holy days in the hope of raising extra revenue. These collections are paying for the new public address system that will soon be coming to our parish. The cost of the system will be $22,000. I have already raised about $7,500 from these collections and from donations from friends, in and outside the parish. Monte Brothers is also very kind to us in letting us pay $1,000 a month once they come to restore the system. Hopefully it will give us another ten years like the last one has done.
Last year we did an earmarked collection for refurbishing the pews. I want to show you where and why the money is going. There are a lot of maintenance issues that need to be addressed. In a few weeks I will give you a more detailed explanation of these problems.
You hopefully have noticed an improvement in the lighting in the church. These changes have been done by the time and talent of our parishioners. Please pray for them because they have saved us a lot of money and I certainly appreciate their efforts! If you see anything where you would like to share your time and talent, please let me know and I will see what we can do.
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles today has been used to justify anti-Semitism, a very serious sin for us Catholics. True, historically, Jesus was killed by Jews, but Jesus and his immediate followers were Jews themselves. For us sinful Christians, however, we bear more responsibility for the death of Jesus because we already know that every time we sin, Jesus had to atone for our sins if we ask for forgiveness. So for us, Jesus had to suffer knowing full well that we have turned our backs on Him. Jesus said from the Cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” Unfortunately for us, we know exactly what we are doing. St. Peter, in the seconnd reading is reminding us of the impartial judgment that awaits us when we die and warns us to take responsibility for our behavior. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to listen to Jesus explaining the Scriptures to see how the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New!