But, boy, is it cold here!
It was more than 20 degrees below zero hereabouts last night, according to some folks in the office; we found some pipes frozen at the office, and it was a little nippy in St. Mary Church at Mass this morning. And yet a hardy 10-15 folks showed up for Mass, and in my homily, I told them it was edifying to Father Tom (who was concelebrating) and me to see them there when nothing obliged them.
My day started with a finance committee meeting at 7 am--we went over a monthly budget report, and talked about the disposition of some nice donations received before the end of the year. Based on what the donors themselves said, the finance committee feels strongly the funds should be put to building fund needs--either those pending or future.
As some of you know, St. Boniface has had a "Rebuild St. Boniface Fund" drive for about 2 years, aimed at dealing a variety of needs in the school and church. We've accomplished some of them, but we have many more to go. In December, we had a fundraiser "roast and toast" in honor of our 90-year old Father Caserta, and wow, was that successful! We raised over $80,000 from the event, between ticket sales or other gifts and pledges! We said we'd use the proceeds to restore St. Boniface's 107-year-old stained-glass windows, and then, we got a gift of $50,000 toward the project, so all of a sudden, we are in a position to begin the work.
So, this week, I've been working on that, and the project will begin next week.
Down the road, we want to replace windows in the school, replace the pews, deal with weather-caused cracks and deterioration of the church and office exterior, and a number of other things.
It's exciting and it's been something I've been working on for at least two years.
Also today, I went back to the hospital, to bring the Eucharist to someone I visited yesterday--but with a twist: I brought the Precious Blood.
This is unusual, but it is allowed, for those who cannot receive the Eucharist in the form of bread; in this case, the patient had a tracheotomy and could not swallow. So I explained to her, and her family, I could bring the Precious Blood, and put just a tiny amount in her mouth, so that there'd be no issue of swallowing or choking. She was eager to have it.
Here's the thing--one has to plan for it, because it is not allowed to reserve the Precious Blood except for a short time, in anticipation of this situation. So I consecrated a small amount of wine in a eye-dropper, which I keep in the sacristy for this purpose. I realize an eye-dropper doesn't seem very dignified, and I agree, but it's all I've found so far for this purpose. (If anyone knows of something different, let me know.) I chose to use the Mass prayers for a Votive Mass of the Precious Blood, and I explained the whole thing in my homily, both so people would know what I was doing, and also to help spread the word about this: it concerns me that some people mistakenly think they can't receive the Eucharist, because they can't swallow something solid.
So, this afternoon, I headed down to the hospital, and visited the patient, and explained how I'd administer the Eucharist, and assured her that, although it would be a tiny amount, it was Our Lord all the same.
Well, there were a few other routine items, but those were the highlights. It was a light day.