Pastor’s Desk ~ June 11, 2023

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

I’d like to follow up with a few odds and ends regarding the parish premises.

The repair and painting project on the hall and garage are nearly complete. During the preparation work, we discovered repairs that needed to be made, including part of the roof of the Parish Hall, the roof and gutters on the garage, the masonry near the entrance of the rest rooms, and the pergola in the garden area between the hall and the rectory. (I just learned that a gazebo is an enclosed structure with a solid roof, while a pergola has a slatted roof.) The pergola had significant dry rot, and has been substantially rebuilt, reusing the old lumber where possible.

About the new color of the hall. A few people have expressed to me their views, in favor and against, but mostly favorable or undecided. The only negative letter I’ve received – anonymous, of course – likened the color to a baby diaper, with which I have had no experience as an adult. I’m sure some parishioners are talking to each other about it, sometimes less than approvingly. (Any pastor who thinks his people don’t talk about him or their parish is a fool too dangerous to be left unsupervised…) After so many years of the hall being a faded, washed-out beige with rust stains, the new color is a big change.

The Parish Hall, unlike the church, was not built for architectural beauty, but to maximize the use of available property. I asked the local artist whose successful re-painting of the church, inside and out, transformed SV into one of the most beautiful houses of worship in northern California, to choose the colors for the hall as well. While in retrospect I and others may have chosen differently, I think I understand what she intended to accomplish.

Gold and blue are the emblematic colors of California, which was a brand new state when our parish was formed. The Etruscan gold color of the hall also calls to mind the gold- and ochre-colored villages of Italy, which is connected to the ancestral heritage of our local area. After a couple of summers, the color of the hall will soften quite a bit and begin to look much more like the rectory.

Color fashions come and go. Every year there is a new “it” color: turquoise, pink, teal, puce, you name it. After several years of mid-century charcoal and gray, many of the buildings on the west side, commercial and residential, are now using bolder colors again, as in the late 1960’s and early-mid 1970’s. The former SV rectory, on the corner of English and Fair, is an example of the re-discovery of bold colors. The church property faces in two directions: Western Avenue, which is a commercial district, and Triangle Park, which is a residential district. It’s not unreasonable that there be two different color schemes for the commercial and residential sides of our property. Finally, artistic tastes are like spiritual gifts in that they are subjective, personal and not entirely susceptible to rational analysis. However, this brief explanation of the underlying rationale might lead us to new ways of interpreting what we see.

Fr. Bill Donahue

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