Pastor's Message

Weekly letters offered by our pastor, Father Paul Counce, first published in The Carpenter, our Parish Bulletin

Thanksgiving and Building Projects

Published: November 19, 2017

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

            Happy Thanksgiving this week! Remember, you’re invited to bring your bread and wine to our “Thanksgiving Mass” the night before, on Wednesday, November 22. A special blessing over bread and wine to be served at your family’s Thanksgiving feast the next day is part of the Mass. (It will also be part of the décor: the variety of breads and wines in all shapes and sizes makes a nice display in church!)

Thanksgiving is easily the most “religious” of our national public holidays. Even for people of little or no faith, it’s a time of gratitude: for family and prosperity if not to God. We who do understand that all good gifts ultimately come from God have an advantage, for our thanksgiving to Him in turn obtains continued blessings!

What else? Why don’t I mention a few of the aggravations that I’ve been dealing with on your behalf?

The first is definitely the repair work on the ceilings of the side chapels in the Cathedral itself. The workers from our general contractor, Stuart & Co., have been great, but the needed inspections and slow permitting processes from the City Parish have delayed us. I sympathize that new construction following last year’s floods no doubt increased the workload of these offices, but we basically have seen our three-month project turn into a six-month one, all because they are backlogged. If you hear me groan and sigh, it’s probably because of this.

One aggravation has been partially healed. We did some quick repair work on the slate plaza in front of the Cathedral this past week. For quite some time some broken tiles at the top of the handicapped ramp have been a particular source of aggravation, but we finally found a local bricklayer who could fix it. In fact, we’re now considering a re-mortaring of the entire plaza: it’s been about 20 years since this was last done, and you don’t have to stare at it very long before you realize it needs to be done again!

Although we love our Parish Hall since its renovation and enlargement in 2015, it has lacked a good “sound system.” By the time you read this we will have remedied that situation. A new audio-visual system is being installed in the Assembly areas, something which especially will benefit large groups which gather.

Some foreseen repairs and improvements won’t be so visible. Aware that I and every other priest are getting older, I’ve already added grab-bars in the bathrooms of the rectory! A few more restroom upgrades and some interior painting are planned in the priests’ residence as well. After the first of the year, we hope to waterproof and paint the exterior of the rectory and Parish Office buildings for the first time in 51 years, too!

As you might suspect, none of this will be free. Our building funds available – mostly from our investments with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation – will be stretched, but of course I’m counting also on your customary generosity, for it’s needed. As the year’s end approaches, especially as you look to ease your 2017 tax burden, please consider helping your Cathedral Parish in some significant way. I began this column talking about thanksgiving, and believe me, it’s something I’m happy to do every month of the year!

                                                Sincerely yours in the Lord,

                                                 Fr. Paul

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