1-22-2017 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mar 1, 2017
3rd Sunday in OT / A / 2017
Msgr. Patrick S. Brennan
1.) My homily today is going to be a little different from usual. I’m going to speak about our parish, and our parish hopes for the future. By now, many of you have received this information statement called "The Cathedral Project." If you haven’t, you should receive it by Monday (there are some extras in the vestibule). Also, some of you have been contacted for personal interviews, to tell us your own hopes and dreams for Cathedral Parish—and, in particular, our plans to renovate our Cathedral Center, and the rectory, to meet our needs as we move into "the next hundred years."
2.) This morning I would like to walk-through this "Cathedral Project" statement and give a little background. As you know, there have been many attempts in the past to renovate our buildings so that the needs of the parish might be met. In particular, we need a hall—a hall that is large enough for parish functions, such as funeral luncheons, wedding receptions, and parish events that bring us together as a community.
3.) The last attempt at renovation was around 2000, when Father Jacobberger hired an architect (DiBenedetto) to draw up plans for a renovated Cathedral Center and rectory. Unfortunately, it all came to a halt when the archdiocese went into bankruptcy.
4.) With the move of Archbishop Sample, for the first time our parish has the opportunity now to renovate the entire Cathedral Center to meet our needs. The Administrative Council was excited about this possibility, and so we hired a consultant, Ed Lemma, to help us in our planning.
5.) Planning began in November, and we have moved along quickly. A committee was formed to do the planning, and this "Cathedral Project" is the result of their work.
6.) The first page shows the various ministries we have in the parish—we are an active parish, despite the lack of good facilities. But to move forward—and especially to build up our
community—we need a hall, classrooms, meeting spaces. In other words, a parish center that is ready to move cathedral forward into its next hundred years.
7.) The picture in the middle of the brochure gives some idea of the amount of space we possess in the combined Cathedral Center and the rectory. Virtually nothing has been done to these buildings (with the exception of archbishop’s home) since they were constructed (the Cathedral Center/School, 1915, and the rectory, 1926). They need help!
8.) The Cathedral’s vision for renovation and ministry is outlined on the third page (inside). A parish hall is our first priority. Along with the hall, we want to enhance our courtyard so that it can become a more vital part of our community life—having the courtyard connect to a hall will greatly increase its use and appreciation. The courtyard is such an asset, but we don’t use it very often (and part of the reason is its design).
9.) Finally, I want to point out the rich history of our cathedral and its place in the life of the archdiocese. We are a cathedral and we are a parish. The cathedral is the mother church of the archdiocese, and it frequently hosts archdiocesan events with the archbishop. We want to be a more hospitable host for these events—and for that we need better facilities, including bathrooms!
10.) On the final page are some "frequently asked questions." The project is expensive, and we are in the process now of determining a realistic goal for a future capital campaign.
11.) None of this will come easily, and we want to hear your opinion. Next Sunday we are going to do an "in-pew survey" to find out what you think about this "Cathedral Project" and to hear your own priorities for St. Mary’s Cathedral.
12.) It is an exciting time for us, and I can assure you that I am wholeheartedly committed to this project. In preparation for next Sunday, I would ask you to read through the brochure and become familiar with it. And dream a little, about our future.