St. Peter Catholic Church

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Maintenance for Our Historic Oaks

Maintenance for Our Historic Oaks It has been quite a few years since our oak trees have been trimmed and maintained here at St. Peter. In the beginning of July we had a huge rotten limb fall from one of the trees. That event served as a clear reminder that these trees need regular maintenance like our buildings. This maintenance is not merely for aesthetics but for safety. On July 29th, we were finally able to accomplish this project. The trees and been properly trimmed and fertilized.

The cost of having them professionally trimmed was $3,925. This project was able to be completed through the generosity of our parishioners who contribute to our monthly Maintenance and Repair Collection. Working together and having everyone participate financially can certainly accomplish much for our beloved parish.

In the near future when more funds are available, we hope to address the other trees on our property that need pruning.

Management and Finance

Dear Parishioners,

Over the past few weeks there has been much discussion with our parish leadership regarding the maintenance and repair projects that have been pending here at St. Peter. As these projects have been prioritized by the sub-committee of our Pastoral Council which helps oversee these needs, we were thrown a curve ball with our church air-conditioning system.

We have been publishing in the parish bulletin information that repairs were being made to some of the units. However, two weeks ago we experienced some major problems with two units that serve the church building. It is time that we cease making band aid repairs and replace the units that need changing. Therefore, we will be changing out two of the air-conditioning units in the church building. This will be a significant cost to the parish. However, these unites will run more efficiently. The cost of this project will be $43,500.

We are also taking steps to fix the parking lots and driveways on our property. This is a serious problem that needs attention. Here again, we cannot continue to defer this necessary parking lot repair. There is 1,1250 sq./ft. of the parking and driveway areas that need attention. The cost of this project will be $15,000.

In addition to these projects, we are still working on bids to fix the cloister walkway that connects the rectory and the church and the rectory and office building. There are still places on some of our buildings that have rotten wood. The Christian Formation building still needs attention where the plate glass cracked and was removed. The plywood placed on the building where the glass was removed remains unsightly.

The funding for these projects along with our regular maintenance is mostly accomplished through money collected in our monthly Repair and Maintenance Collection. Obviously, these larger projects are financially more than what is usually collected each month. We will be drawing from our line of credit in order for these projects to be handled in a timely manner. We will utilize available funds from our monthly Repair and Maintenance Collection and any special donations that are given for these projects to pay off the debt that we will incur.

The projects which are mentioned in this communication were never part of the scope of our Centennial Campaign. The Centennial Campaign has already accomplished the funding of so many projects that had been pending over the last few years. I take this opportunity to remind our parishioners that through the generosity of our parishioners the Centennial Campaign has retired our debt that was owed to Catholic High, retired the debt for the property purchase on Iberia Street, replaced the rectory windows and fixed the parking lot at the Disch-DeClouet Social Service Center. The next projects that are slated from the funds that we have available from the Centennial Campaign will allow us to address the issues of the roof of the church and the church lighting.

St. Peter Parish continues to be able to function with our general operations while being able to maintain our historic facilities because of your interest and financial support. Please remember that your giving I the Sunday offertory collection and your support for the maintenance of our facilities is much needed and appreciated. Many thanks for all that you do for our beloved parish.

Fr. Blanda

Pastoral Advisory Council and Finance Advisory Council Meetings

The St. Peter’s Pastoral Advisory Council met on Wednesday, July 15th for our bi-monthly meeting. One of the main focus discussions of the meeting this month was the concern of parishioners being disconnected from parish life during the last few months due to the pandemic. The Council was in unanimous agreement that we should solicit the assistance of Bernard Dumond, a native son of St. Peter Parish, who is the owner of a Catholic development company (Development Innovations 360) to assist us in evaluating the vitality of our parish and helping us to jumpstart our parish ministries and organizations. We are very grateful for Bernard and his willingness to assist his home parish in this process.

In addition to the discussion on parish vitality, the Council also dialogued with Fr. Blanda and the pastoral staff of the parish on the following issues:

  • The status of having the property and the buildings of Loffland Hall for sale.
  • The challenges and the success of having the Mass and the sacraments celebrated in the church during the pandemic.
  • The plans for religious education of our youth and how this will work during the pandemic as the CCD programs are slated to start this fall.

The Finance Advisory Council of St. Peter’s meets each month to review the financial statements of our parish and advise the pastor in areas of finance and management. The Finance Advisory Council met on Thursday, July 16th having the opportunity to review the fiscal year that ended June 30th. We are all very pleased as to the financial status of our parish. Even in the midst of the poor economy and the issues that surround the time in which we were out of the church due to the pandemic, our parish closed the fiscal year in the black. This is due to the tremendous generosity of our parishioners and our staff that functions as good stewards of our parish’s financial resources. We look forward to publishing our parish financial disclosure for the fiscal year 2019-2020 in the near future.

Pastoral Advisory Council and Finance Advisory Council Meetings

Another Project Complete

Rectory window project This past week the last part of the rectory window project was brought to completion with the fabrication and installation of the faux shutter that covers one of the rectory windows that is non-functional. Several people had asked why one of the windows was not tended to when the rectory windows were changed. The window in question is no longer functional due to the reconfiguration of one of the rectory walls that was probably done decades ago.

We are still meeting with contractors to move forward with other projects that have been slated for completion. These projects include the cloister walkway between the rectory and the church and fixing the deteriorated sections of the church parking lot.

Reappointment of Deacon Burke to St. Peter

Bishop Deshotel has reappointed Deacon Patrick Burke to St. Peter for another five year term effective this past June 30, 2020. Deacons serve a five -year term in their parish assignments. At the end of each term, the Bishop will either extend the appointment of the permanent deacon to his current assignment or transfer him to another parish. This decision is generally made after dialogue with the deacon and his assigned pastor and upon consultation with the head of the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Lafayette.

We are very blessed to have faithful and dedicated permanent deacons serving here at St. Peter. I would like to personally congratulate Deacon Burke on the occasion of his reappointment and express my appreciation for the many years of service that he has given to St. Peter Parish.

Fr. Blanda

A New Fiscal Year

Dear Parishioners,

July 1st begins a new fiscal year for our parish of St. Peter. I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some administrative issues which you may appreciate knowing.

The Finance Council has just approved our new fiscal year budget at our last monthly meeting, which was held on Thursday, June 18th. The budget will receive final approval by our Pastoral Council at our July meeting. We were a little late completing the budget this year because of our inability to meet during the shutdown and the stay at home orders. I am looking forward to giving final consent to this budget once the Pastoral Council has a chance to weigh in. The good news is that we are projecting to finish the fiscal year (July 2020-June 2021) with a nice surplus. Your generous contributions as well as the responsible management and hard work of our staff have positioned our parish to continued operating with a surplus. We will also finish this fiscal year (2019-2020) with a surplus.

In addition to the budget, I am currently working with our staff to revisit all job descriptions. This exercise is a good practice to periodically have. We are streamlining the responsibilities of our employees based upon both the turnover of staff members that has occurred in the past two years and the more current needs of the parish. I am very proud and thankful to all our staff members who work so hard to serve the needs of our parish. They do an excellent job!

Fr. Blanda

Terrazzo Floors and Covered Walkways

As we returned to church on the weekend of May 17th, our parishioners were able to see the church terrazzo floors that were freshly polished and shined. We were able to accomplish this through the generosity of our parishioners who give to our monthly Maintenance and Repair collection. The cost of this project was $5,909. This required a complete stripping of old wax that accumulated through many years. We are currently waiting on the company to return to do the sections under the pews for an additional cost of around $1000. These monthly Maintenance and Repair Collections allow us to chip away at the many maintenance issues that need regular attention and are now being placed on our maintenance calendar.

The next project that is underway is the attention that is needed for the historic covered walkways that connect the rectory and the church along with the covered walkway that connects the rectory and the parish offices. We began this maintenance project with having the walkways repainted. This has not been done for many years. The obvious signs of neglect are the rotten wood and the leaking roof. This is also being addressed at this time. As we prepare to hire contractors to complete this work, we will give you the cost involved. In the meantime, we are most appreciative for your generosity that you offer through our monthly Maintenance and Repair collections which allow us to be more proactive in addressing on-going maintenance issues. Please also remember that these projects are part of regular maintenance for our historic facilities and are not part of the projects of our Capital Campaign.

Pastoral Advisory Council Elections

Dear Parishioners of St. Peter’s Parish,

As you recall, I recently sought your participation to fill two positions on St. Peter’s Pastoral Advisory Council through an election process, as laid out in the Council constitution. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to vote either by paper ballot or via the online voting site. Also, I would particularly like to thank the three parishioners who were willing to bring forth their names for consideration to the whole St. Peter’s community and for their dedication to our Church, our Faith, and to our community here at St. Peter’s. It was a blessing to have such a qualified group of candidates so clearly devoted to the parish and to serving its mission faithfully.

Now that the voting is complete, please help me in congratulating the two new members of the Advisory Council: Suzanne Babineaux and Kevin Judice. We welcome Suzanne and Kevin to this ministry, and we humbly ask for your prayers, that our group may, with God’s grace, assist Father Blanda to foster the pastoral vision, mission, goals, and action plans effectively for our parish.

Thanks & God bless,
Jason Huffman

St. Peter’s Cemetery News

Each November we mail out due requests to our parishioners, donors, and sponsors to assist in the upkeep of the historic St. Peter’s Cemetery. This year, the response to the dues appeal has been very well received. To date we have had a response of nearly 75% to the appeal letters that have been mailed. The funds that are collected from this appeal are used to help maintain the cemetery and pay for such expenses as: lawn care, utilities, and minor repairs in the cemetery. We do wish to thank all who have contributed to this voluntary appeal. Also, we would invite anyone who would be interested in sponsoring one of our many abandoned graves to contact the parish office for more information. It is through your generosity that we are able to maintain the cemetery. We ask that if you have not visited the cemetery recently, to please take some time to visit the grounds. Thank you for your support.

Ben LeBleu

St. Peter Cemetery Director

A Labor of Love

“Il essuiera leurs larmes”
“He will wipe away their tears.”

The upkeep of a lawn is a labor of love. Carefully planning the date and time of cutting , paying close attention to flower beds and other plantings, neatly edging sidewalks and raking up the lawn clippings all of this arduous labor done to attain the final goal – a perfectly manicured lawn. Enjoying the finished product seems hardly a though whilst one is working tirelessly to accomplish it. But, once complete there is a sense of joy and accomplishment. Weekly, the process is repeated and weekly the same results are enjoyed.

The upkeep of a historic cemetery is not much different. Much time and planning goes into keeping the grounds, sidewalks, and public spaces of the cemetery as tidy and neat as possible. Last year, we engaged the services of a professional lawn company to maintain our cemetery. To great satisfaction, the lawn company has been keeping up the cemetery very well and groups of volunteers have been taking time picking up loose flowers and debris in the cemetery. All of these efforts yield a beautiful cemetery, one that is well-kept and is an inviting place, and a fitting tribute and public expression of our faith and respect for the dead.

It is through the generosity of those who have chosen to pay the voluntary annual cemetery dues to the cemetery that we are able to maintain our historic St. Peter Cemetery. The dues collected from each donor are deposited and used to pay for the professional lawn service as well as to make needed repairs to sidewalks and other areas in the cemetery. While it is a historic cemetery and there are many cracks and crevices, we are trying to maintain the cemetery to the highest standard. This is all made possible by the generosity of the parishioners and donors to the cemetery. The upkeep of a cemetery lawn and ground, just like a home or business lawn is an investment and an act of love. However, when investing the upkeep of a cemetery it is also a sign of one’s outward commitment to the Church’s teaching of respect for and praying for the dead and to keeping the resting place of those dearly departed in the best condition.

As we gain more support for the cemetery, we are hoping to be able to do more work in the cemetery such as cleaning and continued repair of sidewalks, possibly performing maintenance on graves that have been forgotten and abandoned graves, and other projects. To all who have donated to the cemetery we thank you ! We ask all to pray for the repose of the souls entrusted to its care and for the comfort and consolation of their families remembering that the Lord will “wipe away the tears from their eyes.”

If you have not visited our cemetery, we invite you to take some time to visit. We invite you to consider becoming involved in the upkeep and preservation of our historic cemetery by becoming a donor or a volunteer. We also invite you to take time to enjoy the peacefulness of this sacred space and to enjoy the labor of love that has been put forward to keep up our historic St. Peter Cemetery.

Second Collections at St. Peter Parish

Recently I was asked if it was possible to offer to our parishioners a more thorough explanation of our second collections here at St. Peter’s. As I contemplated this request, I called to mind my initial homily that I gave to the parishioners regarding my desire to keep you informed of parish needs. As time passes, it is easy to presume that everyone always understands the workings of the parish and the recurring practices that become the flow of parish life. I can see how this is true in regards to the recurring second collections that are taken here at St. Peter’s. I would like to offer a better explanation of the monthly Property and Liability insurance collection, the Maintenance and Repair collection and the CHS Subsidy collection.

Property and Liability - this recurring collection helps the parish to pay the annual insurance bill which includes the property, liability and workman’s compensation. This is not optional for a parish to have; nor is it allowed for us to shop around for competitive rates. Each parish is insured through Catholic Mutual. This year our premium is $66,601. This bill is received in July and must be paid by December.

St. Peter’s Maintenance and Repair - this monthly collection assists the parish in ongoing maintenance projects and repairs that are necessary in order to maintain our parish buildings and grounds. The challenge of our parish is that there is so much deferred maintenance and repair in which we are trying to catch up on. Facilities need constant care and maintenance. If this is not done on a regular basis, the problems mushroom. Much thought is now being put into the decisions as to which maintenance issues that will
be addressed in each fiscal year. Our annual budget includes foreseen projects as well as a cushion for unforeseen repairs. Currently, this year’s budget includes $71,000 for maintenance and repairs. This monthly collection helps to generate funds for our parish to operate in this area.

CHS Subsidy - as an owner parish of Catholic High School, we are responsible for assisting in the operations of the school. Each owner parish subsidizes according to how many parishioners are sending their children to Catholic High. The amount is $200/student. In this academic year we are responsible for subsidizing Catholic High with the amount of $11,800. This breaks down to $1,180/month for a ten month period. The recurring monthly collection assists the parish in fulfilling this financial obligation.

I hope that this more thorough explanation will assist each parishioner in being better informed as to the workings of our parish. It is with much appreciation that I thank you for your ongoing generosity.

Fr. Blanda

Weekly Votive Candle Memorials

Weekly Votive Candle Memorials

St. Peter’s Parish offers the opportunity to our parishioners to have a candle burning in church each week for an entire year for your special intentions. These intentions may be for your living or deceased loved ones, a special private intention or in thanksgiving for graces received. These candles are replaced each week by a group of volunteers. The donation for this service to cover the expenses of the candles is $260/year. This is equivalent to $5/week. If you are interested in this offer, please contact Mrs. Eileen Boudoin, our parish bookkeeper, at the parish office to make arrangement to begin this service.

In addition, Fr. Blanda has requested that a memorial candle burn each week for the deceased pastors and deacons of our parish. If anyone would like to contribute to the expense of this special votive, you can bring your donation to the parish office or place it in an envelope clearly marked for this purpose and include it in the Sunday collection. If we collect more than the $260 needed for this votive candle, the remaining amount will roll over to next year’s program.

New Rectory Windows — A Positive Effect

Since the completion of the project in which we installed 56 new windows to the parish rectory, we have received many compliments as to the visual appearance of the rectory building. That feedback is much appreciated. In addition to what is seen, I wanted to update the parishioners as to how much of a difference it has made inside the building. Since the new windows have been installed, I have been able to run the air conditioners at 73 degrees and the heater at 65 degrees with great comfort in the house. Prior to the replacement of the windows the thermostats had to be put on 67 degrees on the warmer days and 69 degrees for heat. The old windows were pulling in so much moisture from outside. In addition to the temperature settings, the house is so much quieter. I am certain that utility bills will reflect the efficiency of these new windows.

You have made this project possible by your contributions to the Centennial Capital Campaign. I look forward to the next project to begin as Campaign pledges continue to be fulfilled. The church roof needs attention and repair. The roof project is the next priority on our list of projects slated to be accomplished in the scope of our Capital Campaign. Thank you for your continued generosity.

New Rectory Windows