It’s finally happening! We move back into Assumption church on September 8! I didn’t know if I would ever see the day, and yet it seems to be happening. I am grateful to God, to Our Lady, and to so many people. I know that many of you have been hoping, praying, and working so that this could become a reality. And September 8 is an appropriate day, the day on which the Church celebrates the birth of Mary, the one whose name was holy and whom was assumed into heaven. Please join us for the 11:00 Mass, presided by Bishop Fabbro, who has been so supportive of the parish and our restoration effort. Immediately following the Mass, we will have our parish picnic on the grounds.
As we enter the church it will be clear that much remains to be done. Phase 1 (the roof, asbestos remediation, and heating) is only an initial step, and the least expensive one. You will see hoarding up over the side altars, and the side pews will be roped off. This is to ensure that no plaster falls on anyone, and will serve as a reminder that we need to ensure that Phase 2
happens, when the plaster will be stabilized and the frescos restored. You will also notice that there is still a staging area outside the church. This will remain in place until the heating system installation is complete, by mid-October.
So many of you stepped up to sponsor roof tiles. Thank you for your generosity. We were able to raise over $150,000 with that effort. We will continue to put names on any more shingles we sell, and they will be installed during Phase 3, when the exterior walls are restored. Until that date, we will keep them safely in storage and ready for the day when they find their home above us.
Many of you may be wondering about what will happen to Holy Name of Mary. It is a beautiful church building, one that served Holy Name of Mary parish for so many years, and then became Assumption’s home for almost five years. Although we will not be having our parish Masses there, we will continue to use the building. It will be the home of our Assumption Cares outreach program, serving the community in so many different ways and, of course, the Holy Name of Mary conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which does important work in the parish.
In our gospel passages in these weeks Jesus reminds his followers and us that sometimes things are difficult. Sometimes we have conflict. I know that not every one of you agrees with the decision to move back to Assumption. As I have said before, my time here has convinced me that we can best serve our parish and our area out of Assumption; it is a significant place not only for us, but for the entire Christian community of the region. I ask your continued prayers for guidance.
Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us.