Sunday, November 26, 2006

An opportunity to give: help the Gospel be heard

Some months back, I mentioned one of my parishes needed to paint its gym. I realized I haven't reported on that.

All the money needed was raised, and the gym will be painted over Christmas break (we were going to be doing it right now, but the principal was concerned there wouldn't be enough time for the paint fumes to dissipate before school started).

I'm pleased to say that we generated about $400 from readers of this blog toward the approximately $16,000 needed, and I am grateful!

Since no good deed goes unpunished, I thought I'd mention yet another need, in the event some generous soul reads it and is moved to respond.

St. Boniface parish is rather large, and relies on a sound system as many churches do. Unfortunately, it needs attention. The retired priest has a hard time being heard, and the mics are failing him. Some are urging me to do some patchwork fixes--get new wireless mics, or get a mic for the altar, etc. It occurs to me this is the time to look at the whole sound system, and get it right; especially as once you make a change here, it's going to have effects, over here.

So, I had my music director get some estimates--he came up with a $20,000 budget, including new microphones, new speakers (we have bulky, ugly speakers hanging over the heads of Mary and Joseph; I'd like to remove them, and replace them with state-of-the-art, sleek, white Bose speakers that will be almost invisible). There's more of course, and labor involved all around, to get it to $20,000; plus, one can always find savings along the way (and I will!).

The good news is I've already raised $7,000, so I'm more than a third of the way there.

God willing, someone reading this can make a contribution, perhaps a sizeable one.

Unfortunately, I have to make this decision apart from other considerations that are so far remote to me, at present: someday, restoring or replacing the pipe organ ($200-300,000); if that's judged out of reach, then a high-quality electronic organ ($80,000+). Also, someday replacing the existing carpet with a harder surface, perhaps even stone flooring (awaiting an estimate, but it will be high).

If you want to donate, you can do so by sending a check payable to St. Boniface Parish, at this address:

St. Boniface Parish
310 South Downing Street
Piqua, Ohio 45356

Be sure to mark the check, or the envelope, or include a note saying, "for sound system"!

(In the unexpected event of surplus donations, they will go toward repairs of the interior and exterior of the church--we have falling plaster and cracked "stone facing" that needs attention, but we won't get to that until next year.)

Last time, someone asked about "paypal." I looked into it, and it seemed to cost me money to use it; maybe I was mistaken. But that kept me from doing it, as it seemed those costs would be high, relative to what I thought would be generated. That's still my judgment. I don't mean to be inconsiderate of you, dear reader, only that I would rather see more of your generosity go toward the project at hand. And, however disreputable I am personally, that I am a real person, and my parish is a real place, can be established rather well.

In any case, please don't hesitate to ask questions, via the comments, and if you need an email response, let me know. (I used to have my email available, but I stopped that when people began sending me requests for spiritual advice and counseling, which is so ill-advised via the blogosphere, but I couldn't simply ignore the requests, either.)

I certainly don't expect anyone to send a penny; you have plenty of good causes to support, and there's no charge or consideration necessary for your sufferance of this web page.

Finally, if nothing else, would you be willing to say an Our Father for St. Boniface Parish, to have its financial needs met? Who knows, your prayer may unlock quite a bit of God's blessings!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So many tens of thousands of dollars to provide sound and organ music for church services. . .
Some yrs ago my friend and I attended an Old Order Amish service held at sunrise, and the exquisitely beautiful singing sent chills down our spines. It was some kind of chant, possibly, non-melodic, but the sound was immensely sacred and pure. There were no musical instruments at all. In fact, there was no building, no pews, no flooring, no
lighting, no statues - just a canvas roof on poles, fresh-cut logs for seating, grass underfoot, and the sunrise visible on the horizon.
Come to think of it, the singing was accompanied after all - by birdsong!

H.M. said...

Martin,

About a year ago I installed a new sound system in my parish. The speakers are Bose and they are terrific. The rack of equipment in the sacristy which makes it all work (as you can see, I'm techno-illiterate) are not Bose but of good quality. All ministers use head set mics which take a little getting used to but are, in the end, excellent and especially for us since I inherited a variation of a church-in-the-round. If you have any questions (or need the name of the equipment on the rack) post them here and I'll respond.