Dear members and friends of St. Barnabas,
As we enter the final weeks of this holy season of Lent, I'd like to update you on several items which should be of interest. I know it is a great relief to everyone that we are now once again worshiping in the church, which means we will be able to observe the rites of Holy Week and Easter there. The full schedule is listed on the website as well as the St. Barnabas Facebook page. Be sure to thoroughly explore the new website and return regularly for the latest news and information.
As most of you are aware, we have now commenced our new Sunday morning schedule. It consists of adult education and Sunday school at 9:30 am in the undercroft, Confessions beginning at 10:00 am (or shortly thereafter), and the Parish High Mass at 10:30 am. Until our new confessional is installed at the back of the church (where the old one was located), confessions are heard in the Lady Chapel. Child care continues to be available in the nursery during Mass. The subject of the current series of adult classes is the Precepts of the Church. The discussion at our first session last week was lively and informative, and so I urge you to join us if you haven't already.
Lent is characterized by the disciplines of penance, fasting, and alms giving. In regards to the last of these, I would like to commend to you several avenues for sacrificial giving. The first is stewardship for the support of our congregation and its ministry, an ongoing need for the maintenance and growth of St. Barnabas. The second is the Bishop's Appeal. Please be sure to pick up a brochure and pledge card if you have not sent one in already so that we can meet (and hopefully exceed) our rather modest congregational goal of $3,500. Finally, by way of direct support to those in need, please see a word from Jackie Quigley, chair of our finance council, about our newly re-purposed food basket.
Finally, many of you will have heard talk around the parish about various pending real estate transactions, so let me take this opportunity to confirm that by the end of April, St. Barnabas will have closed on two properties in close proximity to the church. The first is 3915-3921 Davenport Street, the two duplex buildings immediately to the east of the church. Acquiring this property will provide badly-needed classrooms and office space for the Chesterton Academy of Omaha, as well as a residence for our new organist (once that position is filled). Furthermore, it will allow the addition for the elevator to be situated on the east side of the church building rather than the south, making for a much more cost-effective addition than originally planned. The other property is 4124 Davenport Street, about a block and a half west of St. Barnabas. This will become the new rectory, including not just a residence for me, but also room for the parish offices, meeting space, and guest quarters. This property includes a carriage house with a two-bedroom apartment above, which will be perfect to house a sexton. With the need for a rectory thus fulfilled, the "blue house" will be demolished, allowing for an expanded (and paved) parking lot. Bishop Lopes has given his permission for both of these purchases, and he is in full agreement with me and the pastoral and finance councils that they will be of tremendous benefit to the ministry of St. Barnabas in the years to come. Once we take full possession of these properties, there will be a series of events which allow parishioners and friends to see our new acquisitions first hand.
As always, I encourage anyone with any questions or concerns to contact me, either by phone at St. Barnabas or by email.
Wishing you a blessed Passiontide,
Fr. Jason Catania