From the Pastor 2/17/19
What will our measurement be for the winter of 2018/2019? Will it be inches of snow, freezing temperatures, pounds of ice melt used, or the number of hours spent shoveling and snow blowing? Maybe for our parish, it will be the number of hours spent clearing snow and salting/sanding sidewalks. Maybe it will be the number of water pipes broken. Do you realize that we are heating four sets of buildings (all with church, rectory and school), plus a mausoleum, and Life Teen house, all with steam heat? Look at the number of boilers that we have running, plus the miles of steam pipes that carry the hot water throughout our buildings, in addition to the normal hot and cold water pipes.
If we are measuring by the number of frozen pipe issues, we have a radiator at St. Boniface rectory that has cracked and flooded a couple of areas (front door entry area and lobby, plus the lower level directly beneath). Mike, our main maintenance guy, had checked on the facility but had, at that time, saw no signs of problems. Manitowoc Public Utilities later called the parish office to notify us of large water usage, which prompted an immediate visit. Our maintenance staff, Mike & Tommy, vacuumed the water out and are working to dry out the area. They also capped off the broken radiator so as to be able to heat the rest of the building. Thanks guys!
So, what do we want to measure this winter by? I suggest we measure by a more pastoral number than by frozen pipes or days off of school. Let us measure the number of additional contacts we (all parishioners) make to our neighbors and friends this winter due to the cold and snow. We have a number of people who are unable to get out of the house very often. I would bet that everyone has a neighbor that is challenged with mobility. Have you called or visited them?
I know my folks, who are now in their 80's, get out of their home much less these days. Sometimes it becomes very challenging when you cannot get out much (such as with families who have children home from school for so many days). Now is the time to reach out and to call or visit those who we know are not getting out. They may be in need of a grocery store run, a friendly face to visit, snow shoveled, or just to know that someone cares.
Then, if we get to know these neighbors, we may find that they are Catholic and perhaps belong to our church. Perhaps you can be the one to bring them Communion? (Call the parish office and ask for training and how to bring Communion, visit, and pray with the home bound). This is an important way to really reach out to those in our neighborhood as well as to our parishioners.
Last Saturday after the 4:00 p.m. Mass, I noticed more than the usual number of parishioners visiting together. For some, it is one of the few times this week that they were out of the house, and given the ice, may not be out for some days again. I think we can all use a little more connection with each other during these cold days of February.
So, lets' get to work! Everyone reach out to three people this week who you know are sort of home bound and let them know we love them and care for them. See if they have any needs that you can help them with. Let's be Christ in the world, or at least in our neighborhood, this week. Let us live the B-attitudes, our gospel, in a new way this week.