From the Pastor: A/C and Other Information
This week’s news; good or bad, you decide. You all have been very busy getting in touch with your favorite airconditioning companies and at this time we are inundated with technicians crawling around in our attic. Thank you very much! None of them have so far been able to give us a written quote, though, because this is a much bigger job than we first expected. The old compressor units definitely have to be replaced, which we already knew, since they use the old freon refrigerant, which is now illegal to use. But along with replacing the compressors, the air handler, too, needs to be replaced. It takes up a very large chunk of real estate in the church attic and most likely was manufactured up there, as it is too large to be taken out through any of the openings to the attic. It is set up for freon, too, obviously, but also uses an old Westinghouse motor, the likes of which are no longer in production. That huge motor, by the way, is what produces the loud humming sound that can be heard in the church even though it is on the far top side of the social hall! The electrical box also fails to meet current codes (things have changed since the 60’s!), so it needs to be replaced. And, while we are at it, the old boiler, which is our heating system, will probably be removed (it fails multiple times each winter and boiler technicians are more scarce than hens’ teeth) and heat strips installed in the A/C units, something unusual of when this old boiler was installed. The A/C techs, therefore, have to get multiple specialized people together to figure out how to bring this all together. I will let you know what they come up with but be prepared for a large estimate.
Fortunately, St. Joseph Vietnamese Mission helps us with expenses like this since they share the property. Or, maybe not. Fr. Chien has given me permission to announce that they are planning on moving out of Epiphany and into their own church building! They are raising funds for the purchase of an existing Lutheran church in the Town and Country area of Tampa. They have a contract on the property but are awaiting final approval from the Diocese. The diocesan finance committee doesn’t meet until the end of next month but everything so far looks like they will grant approval for the purchase and move. Please pray for them as this is a huge step for them and the first time that they will not be “renting” space from another parish but rather taking on full responsibility for their own church.
As we look toward the near future, our Catholic schools will be opening up this Monday, August 24. We don’t have a school anymore so we are not directly affected by that but I am using it as a sign that other groups at the parish level can re-start as well. The Saturday morning Adult Cathechism class will resume on Saturday, September 5 from 10:30 - 12:00 noon. That is 30 minutes later than before but we have such a long line for confessions on Saturday mornings that the old 10:00 start time simply is no longer feasible. We may have to meet in the church to keep being anti-socially distant from each other if everyone who used to attend comes back, plus we may get some new faces! For those of you new to the parish, this class is simply an on-going explanation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We go through a few paragraphs or a few pages each week, depending on how much detail I get into and how many questions there are, and simply pick up each week where we left off the last time. The classes are recorded and the Unknown Church Gremlin posts them online so you can listen to any past lessons or any that you miss. You need to bring in your own copy of the Catechism, but there is no charge for the class. Even so, I offer a double your money back guarantee that you will enjoy the class and learn while you are there. Simply come whenever you can and don’t come when you can’t.
The Holy League men’s group will also begin meeting once again on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, beginning at 6:00 pm on September 10. I will give the following information for the sake of the new members of the parish. It is for men only. We begin at 6:00 in the church with Adoration and confessions. Most men cannot get here right at 6, but don’t fret if your workplace is not close. Come when you can make it. Men trickle in during this prayer time and then, after Benediction, we move to the social hall for a teaching about the Faith. We are currently nearing the end of the Catechism of St. Pius X, which can be found online for free or purchased in book form for about ten dollars. After that we have social time, which we will have to figure out how to make work while remaining anti-socially distant from each other. This social time with other men who also want to be saints is extremely important. Libations, cigars, and sometimes food has been available, to be freely indulged in or avoided as each man sees fit.
Finally, be sure to sign up to Flocknote (how we communicate via email or text) and register with the parish if you have not yet done so.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka