Permit me to take this opportunity to once again thank all of our parishioners who have supported the St. Gertrude’s Renovation Campaign. We are currently coming to the end of the final year of the four-year pledge period. As you know the parish goal was $1.5 million. To date $1,163,332 has been pledged toward our goal. This amount pledged, hopefully will be realized with the remaining pledges to come in this fall.
May I offer the following accounting of the Renovation Funds.
In Phase I – the roof was replaced, two additional handicapped bathrooms were constructed, the exterior shingles were cleaned and restained, the exterior trims, window frames and entrances were repainted and repaired. New stain glass triangle windows were placed in the ceiling.
In Phase II – the electrical lighting was updated; the pews, kneelers and sanctuary furniture were refurbished and reupholstered. New wood flooring and a new sanctuary rug were installed and the stained-glass windows in the church were repaired. New doors were installed in the three entrances of the church. The handicap parking was expanded, though the size needed to be scaled back due to not reaching the goal. The two driveways were repaved as well as two stone retaining walls built. New pavers were installed around the church.
There were also a few unavoidable and unplanned projects that needed to be addressed. The steps, handrail and wall along Bayville Avenue needed to be replaced. A new organ needed to be installed after the old one ceased to function. Drywells, gutters and diverters on either side of the church were needed to be dug and installed to prevent the drainage and flooding problems that have existed for quite some time. A good amount of landscaping has already been accomplished around the church.
Future Projects are on my wish list. The sound system and the AC system needs to be evaluated and perhaps renovated or at least updated. Further landscaping could also be looked at. Finally, as anyone who has recently used our church basement knows, it is in need of renovation. These are projects that will be considered for the future. I will continue to work with our Parish Finance Council to see what projects are feasible and how we might move forward. However, the bottom line is what are we able to afford.
As we look back, so many good things have been accomplished to repair and beautify our church. I am very grateful of course to all our parishioners and also all of our contractors and workers who accomplished this goal for us. Many of them donated quite a bit of their services or greatly reduced their charges. Without their generosity we would never have been able to accomplish all that we have. I thank them all most sincerely. If we are able to raise more money these future projects may become a reality.
I will continue to keep the parish informed as we move forward. Later in the fall we will have an accounting by the Parish Finance Council with a financial report and our budget for the coming year. Even though our Renovation Campaign has been successful, due to Covid and a decrease in Mass attendance our operating expenses continue to increase and our weekly income is not keeping up. This will need to be addressed.
Once again, I thank you for your support of our parish and I will continue to serve you to the best of my ability.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Msgr. Robert O. Morrissey