Great news! This past Tuesday, the Fredericksburg City Council voted 6-1 to approve our Special Use Permit allowing us to use the houses we own for meetings, and small groups. This has been 2.5 years of hard work for Chris Lanzarone, our facilities manager; so if he looks like the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders, you will know why!
A great thanks to the many parishioners who wrote to city council, and packed the council chamber as a sign of support. I absolutely believe that your presence had an impact on the vote for approval!!
The next step is to get the proper ‘certificate of occupancy’ for the homes which can then be used
as needed. Work is underway to see that all code requirements are met, and once that is done, we will be able to move some meetings, bible studies, and such to the new spaces. We agreed to some limits on the time we could have public assembly in those spaces, in order to lessen the impact on our neighbors.
Once the new spaces are in use and we meet our Capital Campaign goals, we will then be able to begin work on our adoration chapel! This will be of great benefit to the spiritual life of the parish!
One of the principles of how we are trying to organize the uses on our campus, is to move lower impact meetings to the properties on the Northwestern side of our campus (the ‘homes’ facing Stafford, Royston, and Augustine streets). Thus, we will keep our Masses and higher volume uses, like the pre-school and adoration chapel on the interior / Williams Street side of campus, and in doing so, will alleviate the impact on private residences bordering our parish.
There is still much work to be done, and we must still be vigilant in being good neighbors. Please use our parking lot as much as possible. Recognize that when we park on public streets, we are impacting our neighbors, and do not ever block driveways. Please, remember, our church is located in a community
of homes and we must always obey the speed limit, crosswalks etc., keeping our neighbors safe. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
This scripture pertains even to our parking and relations with neighbors when we come to any Mass, bible study, or any event at St. Mary’s:
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-4)
Father John Mosimann