We are blessed at St. Jerome with our beautiful church where we have our most intimate encounters with the Lord. This is His house, and it comes as a gift from current and past parishioners. We take very seriously the responsibility to be good stewards of this gift which we have so gratefully received.
For close to a year the Finance Council, with support from the Diocese, outside experts/consultants with expertise in building and construction and considerable comments and suggestions from parishioners, has been working on determining the best option to replace our failing church roof.
We have determined that the only option is to replace our roof with an enduring metal roof which will meet or exceed all State and Federal requirements for wind resistance and would last as long as 50 years.
We now have bids from multiple roofing contractors. They have a heavy amount of work at this time and that is reflected in the bids. The best bid came in at $1.2 million which is higher than we expected. After discussion with our consultant and contractors, we are seeking rebids next year when the backlogs drop, and contractors can meet our guidelines with competitive bids.
Some parishioners suggested that we put a shingle roof on because it was much cheaper. Initial estimates may have supported this idea. However, our latest estimate for a shingle roof is $804,000. One of the reasons is that much of the cost is the labor in replacing the roof not the material. Hence putting a 15-year life shingle roof on does not make sense especially considering the high cost. Comparing apples to apples we would have to replace a shingle roof twice compared to a metal roof. A metal roof also offers significant savings in energy costs over the 40 to 50-year life of the roof. Getting revised bids will push out the date when we can get the roof replaced but should result in saving in the cost. Because we are pushing out the replacement, like it or not, we need to do some extensive temporary repairs to the existing roof, in order to prevent further damage to the interior of the church. There is nothing but a thin layer of tar paper protecting the interior in many places where shingles are missing. There is already some damage to the interior of our church (peeling paint and drywall). Fortunately, this is mostly around the Plexiglas skylight at the very top of the church roof. If we do get a significant amount of moisture through the shingles, the damage to the interior of the church could be extensive.
We have also been working with the Diocese and banks and have been able to obtain very favorable financing costs and terms.
I know we all love our church and feel confident that all will step up and support our “Raise the Roof” Campaign. This is borne out by the fact that we already have $109,000 in our Raise the Roof fund and we really haven’t been publicizing it much. Because of the major financial impact, we will kick off a formal “Raise the Roof Campaign” with a goal to raise $600,000. We will kick off our Raise the Roof Campaign after the first of the year. You will be hearing from members of the Finance Council who will further explain the Campaign and will have pledge cards available. $600,000 sounds like a lot, but if you divide it by the number of active families it comes to $375 per family. It is an achievable amount particularly when spread over three years. It is important to mention that this is a separate campaign, in addition to our regular offertory giving. We still have to maintain our campus and programs. We need your financial support. Given our faith and our desire to give thanks to the Lord there is nothing we can’t accomplish. As we await the coming of Jesus, it is my hope that you will prayerfully consider contributing to the success of our “Raise the Roof Campaign”.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Fr. Tom Morgan
Question & Mission of the Week:
What do you expect to happen this Advent, and how does this expectation affect your experience of this season?
The kingdom is coming! Everybody has a share in the harvest, but also a share in the sowing. Choose one seed to plant gentleness, forgiveness, gladness-and tend it patiently in prayer and practice.
CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, December 24th - Christmas Eve Masses: 4:00 pm Mass with Nativity/Church, 4:00 pm Mass only/Parish Center, 6:00 pm Mass/Church, 11 pm Christmas Eve Concert/Church 12 am Midnight Mass/Church
Wednesday, December 25th - Christmas Day Masses: 7:30 am, 9 am, 10:45 am and 12:30 pm Masses/Church
Bambinelli Sunday: We invite those attending Mass at St. Jerome on the Third Sunday of Advent to bring their infant Jesus figurines from your Nativity sets with them to Mass.The figurines will be blessed by the priest at Mass.
The Empty Manger: Each child may have his own individual manger, or there may be one manger for the whole family. The idea is that when acts of service, sacriﬁce, or kindness are done in honor of Baby Jesus as a birthday present, the child receives a piece of straw to put into the manger. Then, on Christmas morning, Baby Jesus is placed in the manger. Encourage your children to make Jesus’ bed as comfortable as possible through their good deeds. In the process, explain Christ’s incomparable self-gift at Christmas and Easter that enables us to be part of God’s family.
St. Lucy Cakes: The feast of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, is on December 13th. This marks the opening of the Christmas season in Sweden. Her life story can be found in most saints books, as can the recipe for the traditional cakes. The symbolism is rich and her life story worthwhile reading.
The Nativity Scene: This is the event in which the entire family shares setting up the Christmas manger. Mary and Joseph should be far oﬀ traveling and their approach to Bethlehem can be adjusted daily. Older children can make life -size Nativity models, carve them, cut them out from cardboard, or set up pre-made ﬁgurines. The creative ideas are without limit. Make sure to place the Nativity scene where many can admire the children’s eﬀorts to give God glory.
Christmas Baking: There are many recipe books available to ﬁnd great traditional Christmas baking ideas. The baking usually starts around December 20th. As Christmas approaches, the house will smell of baking and fresh wreaths. The glory of Christmas is at hand! Move the manger to a focal point, add lights to the Nativity to be lit on Christmas Eve, and anticipate together.
Blessing of the Tree: More and more frequently families are blessing their Christmas trees. It is good to remind children that the tree relates to many aspects of our faith. For example, we are reminded that our ﬁrst parents were not allowed to eat from one tree, and that Christ paid the great price for our redemption by hanging on a tree (Acts 5:29-32)
Blessing of the Christmas Tree for the Home
All make the sign of cross +
Leader: Blessed be the name of the Lord.
All: Now and forever.
One of those present reads a text from sacred Scripture: But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
Leader: Holy Lord, we come with joy to celebrate the birth of your Son, who rescued us from the darkness of sin by making the cross a tree of life and light. May this tree, arrayed in splendor, remind us of the life-giving cross of Christ, that we may always rejoice in the new life that shines in our hearts. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The Altar Society has set up a Remembrance Tree for anyone who would like to place a ribbon with their loved one’s name or a memory written on it and place it on the tree in honor of them.
There is a table set up in the Gathering Space with ribbons already for you to write your loved one’s name. Just write the name and hang it on the tree.
Prayed December 16 through December 24
Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires. (Mention your intentions here) Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Join us for St. Jerome’s Nativity Play!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We need your children (and you) to participate in St Jerome’s Christmas Nativity Play!
The play will take place at the Christmas Eve 4 pm Mass in the Church. All are invited and welcome to rejoice in the birth of our Lord, Jesus!
Please contact Erica for more info and to sign up, firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Jerome’s Needs Your Friendly Face!
GREETERS AND USHERS ARE NEEDED FOR ALL OF THE CHRISTMAS MASSES.
Please prayerfully consider volunteering to serve as a greeter or an usher for the Christmas season.
Bring your friendly, welcoming attitude. If you have questions, feel free to ask anyone currently serving in these positions.
We would LOVE to have you! Sign up sheets will be at the Welcome Desk.
Come get into the Christmas season with Christmas classics and favorites! Join the Suncoast Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, December 15th at 2:30 pm in the church for a beautiful afternoon of music.