God is always good to us in everything, Even as things keep changing faster than we can keep up with. One of these changes is that Aquin Elementary has moved out of our school building. For now, it is still being used for sporting events and practice. We are currently working out a deal with Aquin to get some official details on paper for the year. We pray that Aquin does well as they try to make ends meet.
In the meantime, we have gained some expenses since Aquin is no longer using the building. Aquin used to pay all the ongoing expenses for the building. This will now be our expense. We may receive some income from Aquin in some form or another, but we also need to look at what we have and see what we can do on our part. I do not plan on any major decisions for a couple of years to let the dust settle as we contemplate what God wants us to do with the building.
Buildings are both assets and expenses. In business, decisions come easier; we look at the bottom line and go from there. In business, the assets must produce an income or it gets cut. But the Church does not necessarily operate that way. First, for St Joseph Church, the only regular income is the collection basket at Mass. Our current income needs a lot of help from those who are willing. I hope many are. I would like to take the time here to thank all those who make the sacrifice. Thank you and I pray that many blessings may come to you in thanksgiving for your gift.
I know many may want to use the building as a money maker. In my experience, the income is very limited in that course of thinking. Not only that, but when we use the building for income, then expenses also build up rapidly. In the end, any gain gets lost in repairs. I would like to propose that we use the facility to serve the community of Freeport. As Catholics, we are called to be a light to the world. We are called to bring hope and purpose to all in need.
As the foundation to any ministry that we may be doing in the future, we need to remind ourselves that it is not about “social justice”. It is about fulfilling the call to Divine Mercy. If we work only for our own self-imposed justice- we will fall short of God’s plan. When you truly love God and your fellow neighbor, only then will God’s grace transform the building into a holy place. There the love of God is made real by the actions of the members of this parish. If it is not motivated by love, but only by the world’s definition of “social justice”, the whole point of ministry is lost and all its volunteers become lost with it.
There are lots of ideas to consider. Now is the time to be creative. We also need to listen to our neighbors to see what their needs are. It is a time to contemplate what each of us is willing to do for the community. Are you willing to sacrifice time, talent and/or treasure for the good of others? I should note: It needs to be run by the regulations of the Catholic Church in this diocese, and remain within the bounds of the Church teachings in every way.
I am looking forward to work with all those who are willing to look at the possibilities at what Christ can do with this building. For those who are willing to explore such a possible adventure in faith, you can call the office and let me know.
I hope to put together an open house in November with some volunteers. There will be announcements in the month about such an event. As we go forward with such prayerful consideration, God bless you.