In my homily on July 16th, I spoke at all Masses regarding a meeting that Bishop Gainer requested with our parish leadership regarding the future of Catholic education in our area, as well as renovations to our church here at St. John Neumann. On Tuesday, July 11, members of our Pastoral and Finance Councils, along with Suzanne Wood, St. Anne’s School Principal, and myself, had an open and frank meeting with Bishop Gainer, Fr. Quinlan, Secretary for Education, Livia Riley, Superintendent of Schools, and Fr. Danneker, Vicar General, to discuss Catholic education in our parish.
The Diocese feels strongly that the future of Catholic School education in this area is the relocation of St. Anne School to St. John Neumann Parish. A lengthy discussion was held. In response, we are forming a master plan committee to put together a master plan for our Parish. It would include both planned renovations to the church, as well as any additions to the John the XXIII Religious Education Center, which would involve classrooms for both religious education and a school, a gym and an office. We hope to present this plan to you by late Fall. We would then present this plan to the Diocese for approval in the Spring.
This is an exciting time for all of us here at St. John Neumann. Still, we are mindful of the past and the difficulties and missteps that happened in previous building projects. I promise to be as open and transparent with you as the Bishop was with our parish leadership at our meeting. I feel very strongly that communicating with all involved during each step of the process is important.
Thank you for your support of St. John Neumann Parish and St. Anne’s School. Even though I’ve only been here for a year, I’ve seen how this parish comes together to support one another and the community. I ask that God continue to inspire us to do the same, come together and support one another, as we begin to develop the master plan for the future of our Parish. Our mission as Catholics, ultimately, is bringing souls to Christ. We trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us as we move forward in faith.