Paying it Forward….
One hundred years ago, a gifted pastor, Msgr. A. Thornton, mobilized the parish of St. Columba to initiate a great renovation project, to bring the parish into the Twentieth century. The people of St. Columba sacrificed of themselves to benefit future generations of parishioners. The exterior of St. Columba was entirely reconstructed (dedicated in 1915), the beautiful high altar constructed in 1930), a state-of-the-art heating system installed, and a splendid 16 room school house erected for the children of the parish. The people of St. Columba paid it forward to benefit us.
In the early Twentieth century, the parishioners of Guardian Angel Church decided that they needed a new church. The old church on West 23rd was not adequate for their needs or the needs of future parishioners. In 1930, the archbishop of New York dedicated a splendid new church, modeled on a cathedral in Italy, on West 21st Street. The parishioners of Guardian Angel in the early Twentieth century paid it forward to benefit us today. We look back with gratitude to our predecessors of one hundred years of themselves for our sakes.
Today, we are called to pay it forward for the sake of parishioners three and four generations in the future. Our parish capital campaign is designed to do just that. The combined Cardinals Appeal and Capital Campaign goal is $164,500, of which $32,000 is for the Cardinal’s Appeal. The Capital Campaign goal is $132,500, of which $98,050 will remain in the parish for our many capital renovations carried out over the last two years and continuing in the future.
Recall what we have accomplished already for the parish: air conditioning in both Guardian Angel and St. Columba Church, restoring the steps and frontal façade of Guardian Angel Church, completely restoring the exterior of St. Columba Church, and renovating the Burke Building behind the rectory, including Thornton Hall. In the future, we will create handicap accessible entrance at both churches and restore the organ at St. Columba Church.
As your Pastor, I think its important for me to lead by my own example. Therefore, I have personally pledged a $25,000 contribution to the Capital Campaign, to be paid in five $5,000 annual installments over the next five years.
I am happy to report that we have already achieved 84% of our parish goal. If you have not already made a pledge, please do so for the sake of future generations. Lets pay it forward for our future parishioners!