Did you notice the new monstrance or, rather, a very old one (1870’s) that was used during our recent 40 Hours? It was purchased from gifts left to the parish this past year for the purpose of enhancing the beauty and reverence of the worship space. As part of this, we will be adding two candles on the altar, thus having six candles on/next to the altar moving forward. This is in keeping with the liturgical rubrics; the minimum is four, but six has generally been the traditional number used for the celebration of the Mass and for Exposition. This will make it easier, because we won’t have to keep adding and then removing two candles for Exposition each Thursday. A small, stand-up crucifix will also be placed on the altar, thus making it easier for me to see during the celebration of the Mass, since my eyes are not what they used to be when I first arrived.
In addition, we are getting a set of matching candles to be placed next to the Tabernacle. They will replace the candles that are currently there, which are rather difficult to refill and keep lit; most of the time they don’t last an hour. Once this occurs, all the candles will match. Again, these items were purchased with money donated for the purpose of enhancing the beauty and reverence of the worship space. We are planning to make some additional enhancements this summer to the sanctuary and surrounding areas in the church.
One enhancement is to drywall those walls in the church that have exposed concrete block. Several parishioners brought this up years ago, when we made enhancements to the worship space in 2015. The exposed concrete gives the sense that the church is still unfinished. Back in 2007, when the big renovation was done, they made sure the remodeled areas were drywalled; it is logical that all the walls in the church match, at least from a textural perspective.
We are also planning to do some painting in the sanctuary and surrounding areas; I think a little color will enhance the natural beauty of the space. This is likely to include the painting/stenciling of: God is Good, All the Time on the wall above the Tabernacle. This has been suggested often over the years; I guess many see this as our parish motto. These things have been addressed by the worship committee for several years; we ran articles, mentioned this at the parish convocation, and even included the cost of this project in the 2018-2019 budget. My hope is that some parishioners will wish to contribute directly to this special project and that we will receive additional bequests specifically allocated for church beautification.
I am no “decorator,” so we will be forming a subcommittee of the Worship Committee to address things like the colors that will be used and how much space should be painted. We are asking that anyone skilled in decorating/remodeling who would like to help with this endeavor to please call the parish office or attend the Worship Committee meeting on May 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Gathering Space. We had planned to do this last summer, but other more immediate projects came up. It is our goal to continue to enhance the beauty of the church and its grounds in order to be good stewards of the parish assets, to honor and praise God, and to provide an environment that is pleasing to the eyes and hearts of the people of God.
Regarding the parish grounds. We are planning for late April to complete the outdoor sign project, which includes a landscape wall with the name of the parish (St. Ann) as well as the school (OLG). We will have plants/flowers around the area and, hopefully, at some point a life-size statue of St. Ann. During this same time period, we will also begin work on the Legacy Garden, as well as the plaza in front of the church doors. Those bricks have been difficult to maintain, and the problems with the roots have made this a safety issue. The new plaza and garden will include the names of everyone in our Legacy Society.
We continue to strive to do our best to promote the beauty of our parish and show that we are a vibrant parish with a bright future ahead.
Fr. Thomas McCarthy