Pastor’s Desk ~ April 2, 2023

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

Nearly all of you have noticed the netting and scaffolding around the parish hall, which is being repainted. Since the parish hall is the parish building most exposed to sunlight on all sides, it is in most need of maintenance. The real work of the project is in the preparation, and most of the building will be scraped down to bare wood before the painting can begin.

The building was designed to maximize the use of the space available to the parish. More directly, it was designed for function rather than beauty. However, with an artful selection of color, and slight design changes to the doorways on Western Avenue, we can make a significant improvement to its visual appeal.

I have tried to learn all I can about our parish’s history. I do know that it is the oldest building currently on the parish site. It has been here at least since 1911, the only pre-Fr. Kiely building.  While not a paragon of beauty, it is a monument to durability, as it is made of solid old-growth redwood. We have discovered only the tiniest spot of dry rot around one window. We’ve replaced the back door and will replace the battered thresholds with old-growth redwood that I have managed to locate.

The gazebo in the parish garden has significant dry rot and will be reconstructed with similar materials and be repainted. The project will include the garage, restrooms, privacy screen, and other maintenance buildings in the gated area.

I’m most grateful that we are able to do all of this through your monthly contributions to the 4th Sunday collection for Repair and Maintenance. I almost never ask for money, as we are all adults who respect our parish and understand its needs. A few more generous second collections, and we will cover the entire cost without special campaigns or pleas. Thank you.

Moving on to completely different subjects, on Thursday afternoon, I attended the Chrism Mass at St. Eugene’s Cathedral. At the Chrism Mass, the priests of the diocese renew their priestly promises in the presence of the faithful and the bishop to whom we promised obedience. The bishop then consecrates the Holy Oils for sacramental use: Sacred Chrism, Oil of the Sick, and Oil of Catechumens. As to parish life, it is the Oil of the Sick that is the most significant and commonly used at the parish level. All of these oils are blessed not only by the Bishop, Successor to the Apostles, but by the prayers of the gathered priests, deacons and faithful. The Mass was beautifully sung and celebrated, and several of our SV parishioners were present.

Above all, I was impressed by the huge turnout of priests. Despite our current trials, we were there in full force, so much so that they ran out of vestments. Never underestimate the priesthood. It has tremendous residual strength, and vocations are strong, while the wisdom of the world is foolishness.

Fr. Bill Donahue

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