Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
This week marks my one year anniversary of being pastor here at St. Catherine's. I can honestly say it has been a wonderful year filled many joys, and I am so grateful to all of you for your support. I want to thank, in a special way, Fr. Peeter, our deacons, Sr. Mary Jacinta, our grade school principal, Karen Pickens, our preschool director, and all our staff and teachers for their dedication to the mission of our parish and schools. We have a magnificent team of clergy and staff members who love the Lord and His Church and are committed to serving His people.
We have certainly accomplished a lot together during this first year, and I am pleased to be able to say that the spiritual life of our parish and schools remains strong, and our parish ministries are healthy and continue to grow. I have to highlight a couple of our outreach ministries in particular, namely St. Vincent de Paul and our Respect Life ministry. The response to our most recent baby shower and our food drive was tremendous. I am also pleased to be able to report that our finances are fairly healthy, and that due to significant cost control efforts and consistent giving by our parishioners, we have been able to realize a noticeable surplus for the year which has allowed us to dedicate resources to addressing some much needed facilities repairs and renovations in our parish and preschool.
One of the main needs that we have been able to address with regard to our facilities is that of security. We recently completed a project to upgrade our security camera systems in our church, parish offices, and preschool. We now have the ability to monitor almost every area of the exterior of our facilities, including our parking lots. And we also have installed cameras inside the main church, our adoration chapel, as well as all of our hallways. Additionally, we have begun the process to upgrade our fire protection system to ensure that we have the most effective system in place to protect our facilities and occupants. Lastly, with regard to security, we will soon begin to have a uniformed police officer on site on Sunday mornings during our Parish School of Religion session as well as our main 10:30am Mass. This presence will serve to provide increased security, especially for our children, as well as assistance for our traffic flow.
There are many other accomplishments that we could speak about, not necessarily having to do with our facilities, but I will leave that for another letter. Let me just finish by again expressing my gratitude to you all for your ongoing support, and also to the Lord (and to Archbishop Gregory) for sending me to St. Catherine's. I hope that now that I am more settled into the parish, I will be able to spend more time getting to know all of you more personally. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to contact me.