St. Peter Catholic Church

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Our First Weekend Back in Church for Sacred Worship

The weekend of May 17th brought forth the long-awaited moment in which we returned to having the Holy Mass back in the interior of the church. I must admit that I was deeply touched to be able to gather with our parishioners in the house of the Lord. I wanted to share with you some information regarding the amount of people who returned on that weekend. We had an average between the four Masses that were offered of 47% of the allowed 25% capacity which for St. Peter’s is 255 people. This amount represents approximately 39% of the normal attendance which St. Peter’s has on a regular basis.

I share these numbers with you so that you can be aware that we can still accommodate another 125 people at Mass and still be within the 25% maximum capacity that is allowed at this time. Perhaps some parishioners have not returned because they still feel that it is risky for them given their age or health risk. Some parishioners expressed that they did not come because they were afraid that the crowd would be too heavy, and they would be turned away once the church building reached the maximum allowed capacity.

There have also been questions that have been raised regarding the requirement of all parishioners wearing a mask to come into the church. I know this has been confusing since there were previous announcements stating that the wearing of masks would be an absolute requirement. Since the time of the publication of that announcement, the protocols have been altered by the State. It is now stated that it is highly recommended for parishioners to wear a mask while in the interior of the church but not required. Our ushers will continue to offer a mask to those who come without a mask. You are not obliged to accept and make use of it.

Fr. Blanda

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