Sorry, dear readers, for being scarce. The demands of being a pastor are great, especially these days.
The financial storm that has struck everywhere has, of course, struck in Miami County as well; and collections are down. Saint Boniface has had deficits for several years, and Saint Mary had many deficits for several years before having one up year when I first got here. Now both parishes face serious deficits, and I've been having lots of meetings discussing options, none good. It has not been easy or enjoyable, and I have learned from some mistakes along the way.
Meanwhile, the boiler in Saint Mary Church chose to die in November, and we have been getting by with minimal heat as the temperature dropped. I've been having a lot of discussions on that, and God willing, we'll settle on a recommendation next week. We had a temporary heater set up in the basement, which will, if it works, keep us in the 60s until the boiler is replaced.
Meanwhile, we are approaching--this weekend--a monumental celebration for our venerable Father Angelo Caserta, who had his 90th birthday today, and who will be a priest 64 years in February. Tomorrow evening, he will be celebrant for 4 pm Mass, followed by a carry-in dinner for all and sundry, at the Caserta Center in Piqua, next to St. Boniface Church. We expect at least 500 to show up, and the sky's the limit on how many will want to greet and give their love to Father Ang.
Sunday, we will have a "Roast & Toast" in honor of Father Ang, at the Fort Piqua Plaza, 116 W. High Street, in downtown Piqua, 6-9 pm, as a fundraiser for the critical needs of Saint Boniface Church and the school: we expect to have 200 present (tickets still available at the door, $100), and the proceeds will enable us to restore at least several of the century-old stained glass windows in church.
Oh, and then I have all the other usual projects, and tasks of a pastor!
If you have no plans, please come to Piqua this weekend, especially for the Roast & Toast--it'll support a good cause!