frmark_headshot_150x150From the Pastor…

The facilities master planning process for STM is well underway and moving forward swiftly. The process is being led by architects and planners from the Washington DC firm of Cox, Graae+Spack (CG+S) and is being guided by an advisory committee of parishioners.

Parishioners serving on the Planning Advisory Committee are:  Bill Morrison, Philip Lee, Lynn Amoroso, Steve Carney (representing the Parish Council), Steve Ryan, Colleen O’Keeffe, Tony Costantino, Ann Dugan, Cyndy Fordyce, William Stelten, Jerry Raymond (STM School Principal), Todd Hines (STM Director of Maintenance and Facilities), Margie Crawford, Alex Azzarello, and Jim Paulino.

The planning process involves a thorough assessment of the condition and remaining life of our present parish buildings, building systems, and grounds; a forecast of future facilities needs, and a phased program of planned improvements.

CG+S architects and planners spent most of this past Sunday and Monday meeting with advisory committee members, parish staff, and other parish “stakeholders,” that is, persons who, because of their active involvement in a variety of parish ministries, have a good familiarity with our buildings and grounds and are especially qualified to offer opinions regarding what works well and what is deficient and needs attention.  Stakeholders interviewed included the Knights of Columbus, STM youth ministries, representatives of More Eats and Martha’s Ministry, our catechists and teachers, the leaders of our SFactor program, parish staff, liturgical and music ministers, our Young Adult Ministry, Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, and representatives of our parish athletic programs.

The advisory committee and the CG+S architects and planners truly want all STM parishioners to have an opportunity to weigh in on these questions so that all parishioners can be heard.  To this end, the committee and CG+S have prepared a survey that will be made available to every parishioner through a variety of media, including the parish bulletin, the weekly electronic STM newsletter, the parish website, and hard copies.  The survey will be sent out early this next week.  Watch for it.

The survey will include a few questions regarding your personal situation and your degree of involvement in the parish.  The survey will ask for your assessment of which facilities and building systems seem to be working well, and which ones need improvement and/or expansion. Your responses will be kept confidential, and the results of the survey will be published only in the aggregate.

Committee members and Fr. Rudy and I plan to be available to parishioners next weekend after all the Masses to answer questions to further encourage your response.  I assure you that your feedback will receive careful consideration.

On another matter, parishioners who are registered at STM should have received in the mail recently materials relating to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.  I will be following up in this mailing the weekend of February 24-25 at all the Masses.  The Appeal proceeds help to finance many important Archdiocesan programs, many of which have direct and noticeable benefit to our parishioners.  The Archbishop has set a goal for STM, and I am confident that our parishioners, who are always generous and responsive to this Appeal (we have always made our goal), will again be generous and responsive this year.

And finally, as the Lenten season begins, I encourage parishioners to participate actively in one or more of the prayer and faith formation programs being offered by the parish, including the evenings prayer and reflection in the chapel each Thursday during Lent, and the regular Bible Study programs offered on Sunday morning and Tuesday afternoon.

I pray that the Lenten season is full of the Spirit for you and for your families.

Fr. Mark Horak