From Our Pastor ~ May 22, 2016

Dear Good People of Saint Mary,IMG_3232

When the Community Give was coming up this year, Sister Susan Louise said that she hoped that we might at least match the giving level from last year, maybe even break $20 thousand. Well, we thought, it couldn’t hurt to appeal to the parish  in a special way this year, especially since we are  hoping to start construction on the Holy Cross Academy expansion in the spring of 2017. It  will take us at least a year, probably, to receive the permits from Stafford County, so we need to move as quickly as we can on this.

Little did we realize that you good people of Saint Mary would actually more than double our best hopes! It really is a testament to the faithfulness of your generosity. Especially following only one week after our more-successful-than-ever biennial School Auction. Between the two events, we are now about $140,000 closer to our goal. I am so proud of us!

We still have to get a final, tight number on how much the improved facilities at Holy Cross Academy will cost, but it will probably be somewhere in the ballpark of $1.8 million. The diocese requires that we have half up front, or $900 thousand, to sign the contracts and get started.

With the money that Sister has been faithfully saving all the years since the school opened, plus the amount that we have raised in these two events, we still need to find about $500,000. We will be putting our heads together in the next weeks and gathering our best efforts toward this goal. If any of you have any ideas that you would like to share, or if you would like to be involved in making this dream a reality, please call me or Sister Susan Louise.

The expanded facilities will not allow for an increase in the number of students in the school as we believe that to expand to a third track of classes in all grade levels would be risky. However, in order to stay competitive in primary education, we simply need to have additional spaces which will allow the successful instruction of technology, science, music and art. The first year I was here (nearly 15 years ago!) Sister was already talking about the need for a cafeteria and these spaces. For all these years, a typical day might include setting up 500 chairs in the gym for school Mass, then taking them down for gym classes. Then the lunch tables and everything needs to be moved in for lunch periods, then taken down again for afternoon activities, which may include gym classes, or a school performance, or other event. Not to mention the scheduling conflicts for after school activities, athletics, and the after school Aviat Care extended day program which all need to compete for the one large space. A new cafeteria will take all that out—except Mass, of course—and let the gym be the gym, with a new, real gym floor.

By locating technology, art and science and music in their own spaces, we free up existing homerooms to accommodate language classes, and specials in math and other resources for children. And Sister finally will see realized the thing she had hoped for, perhaps most of all, a chapel where classes, maybe even individual grades, can go for prayer and an occasional class Mass, to experience more intimately the love and presence of God in their lives.

Thanks for all you’ve done so far, and in advance for what is yet to come!

God bless you.

Fr. Don