September 11, 2022 | From the Pastor’s Desk
Now that the Labor Day weekend is behind us, the pulse of parish life is beginning to pick up. We will be at full throttle in no time.
It is wonderful to experience once again the enthusiasm, vitality, and commitment that each of us brings to the parish as we worship and pray together, care for one another and those who are less advantaged, and work side by side to make a difference in our community and the world so that the glory of God is made manifest by living what we profess in faith. To everyone who had the opportunity to leave the City for the summer months, welcome back! To those who remained to enjoy all that the City offers on both sultry and more temperate days, I hope you found time for revelry and relaxation. And to our Saint Ignatius Loyola School students, we look forward to your return to classes and the exuberance and energy that you bring with you.
Now let me bring you up to date with news of what occurred at the parish during the summer months. For the most part it was a beehive of activity involving renovations, repairs, transitions of parish staff, and planning for our upcoming calendar of events for the remainder of the calendar year and the first six months of 2023. Also, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the very hard-working priests of the parish who throughout the summer presided at weekday and weekend Masses, weddings, baptisms, and funerals, heard confessions, and attended to the pastoral care of parishioners. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for their good deeds done, dedication, and commitment to their priestly ministry.
At long last we were able to get the appropriate scaffolding inside the church to restore power to one of the two amplifiers and to change the flickering high intensity light bulbs that illuminate the pilasters of the upper section of the nave. At the Parish House, the receptionist’s office on the ground floor was gutted and remodeled. In the next several weeks an awning will be constructed over the front door, and the front door itself will be replaced, bringing more natural lighting into the interior entryway.
In Wallace Hall, an additional amplifier was installed that will fill in the “dead spaces.” Also, there are now acoustical fixtures suspended from the ceiling that will ameliorate the echo effect that was problematic during the livestreaming of events. The new livestreaming system is now fully operational and is complemented by two large portable screens that will project clearer and larger images.
At the Upper Campus of the grammar school, a handicap access ramp was constructed at the entrance to the school. At the Lower Campus, there was an extensive upgrade to the kitchen that for the first time in the history of the use of that building will allow for the preparation of meals on-site. There were also IT upgrades at both campuses.
In regard to the grammar school, a feasibility study will be conducted during the Fall to review both the cost and the financing options, including a limited fundraising campaign, for the replacement of the elevator at the Lower Campus and the refurbishment or replacement of building’s roof of the Upper Campus. This study will be reviewed with the Parish Finance Committee to determine the course of action to be taken.
Finally, there were several transitions during the summer. After 30 years’ at the parish, most recently as principal Cantor, Philip Anderson retired. Also after 30 years of service, most recently as Director of the Children’s Choir, Maureen Haley retired. Replacing her as Director of the Children’s Choir is Elizabeth van Os. We are delighted to welcome Elizabeth to the team. After one year of ministry at the parish, Father Danny Gustafson left us in July to return to graduate studies at Boston College. We are grateful for the short time he was with us and wish him well. Last month we welcomed Father Jim Casciotti, S.J. who will be in residence at the Parish House. You will periodically be seeing him as a presider at Mass. Closer to home in the Pastor’s office, after 17 years as Assistant to the Pastor, Diane Boyle retired. She had the stamina and patience to work with 3 Pastors and 1 Acting Pastor. All of us owe her a great debt of gratitude for helping to keep the trains running on time and in an orderly fashion. Diane will be greatly missed. Replacing her as Assistant to the Pastor is Rebecca Brucas whom you may know from her former responsibilities as the Parish Receptionist. That role is now in the very capable and gracious hands of Pat Reeves. As an aside to these transitions, I was appointed to another 6-year term as Pastor that became effective on June 1st.
Please stay tuned for next week’s bulletin. A letter from me will be published that will explain the next and final step of the planning process that began in 2019. We are on the threshold of a new chapter in the history of the parish. Working together we will build upon the strong foundation of this parish and honor the legacy of those who preceded us in their love and commitment to the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. May all that we do be for the greater glory of God!
Welcome back! Welcome home!
Sincerely in the Lord,