From the Desk of Father Tharp
St. Ann Future Project
By now, most everyone has seen the plat drawings on display in the vestibule showing how we could theoretically replace the old rectory, the old convent (current parish office), and garage building with a multipurpose building that would serve as a gymnasium and “parish multi-purpose center” for meetings, gatherings, etc.
Archdiocesan policy requires steps that must be followed in a building or renovation project. At this point, St. Ann Parish must decide if we are ready to spend money on the next step which would be a “professional financial feasibility study” to determine if there is adequate funding to keep the parish operational needs being met, and still amortize any construction debt incurred with donations from our donor base. In other words, the professional study would answer the question; “Can we afford it?”
There have been some questions posed regarding changes to the existing artist’s conceptualization, configuration of the new building, placement of the new building on our existing plat, type of construction, etc. Spending more money to have the architect rework the “artist’s conceptualization” we currently have into drawings that would approach bid quality would be precipitous at this point. The artist’s conceptualization should provide us with a guestimate of total construction cost, cost of razing buildings and any abatement of asbestos. The guestimate could be off as much as twenty (20%) one way or another, but it will give us a ballpark figure we need to determine if we want to move forward with a financial feasibility study, which will tell us if it is reasonable to move forward with more precise drawings (almost bid quality) and incur the cost of a professional capital fund drive.
As soon as we can secure a couple of appraiser estimates of per square footage pricing together with demolition and abatement costs, we will have a general parish meeting to discuss the issue. Then, we will mail out ballots to each parishioner family, as well as school families who indicate they would be donors. The information on the ballot will explain anticipated total cost of construction and ask whether as a parish we should: “Delay the feasibility study (and its cost) and engage in more discussion; OR move ahead with the professional financial feasibility study?” We will also include estimates of the dollars St. Ann will have to spend to conduct the professional financial feasibility study.
As soon as I have gathered what appear to be reliable “comparables” generatyed from similar recent construction, as well as per square foot cost estimates from construction appraisers, we will announce the meeting. After the meeting we will send out the ballots and conduct the vote on moving ahead with and spending the money on the next step; “a professional financial feasibility study.”
Fr. Tharp away on Tuesday Afternoons
For the past eight years, I have been given the opportunity to teach a class at the Seminary on Pastoral Administration. I teach a three hour class once each Tuesday afternoon between now and Christmas. Therefore, from now until Christmas, I will be unavailable by telephone and out of my office on Tuesday afternoons.
Reflection on Scripture
Today’s gospel reading sounds like a scenario to which the Fair Labor Standards Act should be applied. But Jesus is not offering comment on compensation under modern legal employment practices. Rather he is saying that it is never too late to go to work for the Kingdom of God. Jesus has already set up reservations for us as individuals in Heaven. This is clearly stated in John 14. He made these reservations for each of us when we were baptized. But we have to distinguish ourselves by our appreciation of his promise of salvation. Jesus gives us a lifetime to determine how we recognize and appreciate the promise. Some jump onboard early in the ride. Some choose Christ after wasting years hopping on and off various trains to nowhere. The reward in Heaven is being face to face in the presence of God for all eternity. There are no degrees of “perfect happiness” it simply is! In the final analysis, the train we take to get there is less important than arriving at the destination and appreciating the ultimate gift; the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the best paycheck we will ever receive.
Readings for the Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Respect Life Sunday)
Theme: In matters of faith and all things, say what you mean, and mean what you say!