Cemetery Clean Up and June Vacations
As many of you know, on April 1 a tornado touched down in Auglaize County and damaged St. Joseph Cemetery. The tornado destroyed thirty-two trees, damaged 52 headstones, and destroyed 1000 feet of fence. Numerous parishioners and community members have already helped to clean up the cemetery. Thank you for your time and energy.
The estimate to fix the fence is $44,000. The cemetery had $20,000 of insurance on the fence, so that will help with almost half of the replacement cost. The cemetery is beginning a “Sponsor a Tree” program. They are inviting people to donate to replace the trees that the tornado destroyed. They estimate that each tree will cost about $500, which includes labor. If you are interested in supporting St. Joseph Cemetery, please contact Jim Steinke at 419-738-9552.
St. Joseph Cemetery is incorporated differently than our other three parish cemeteries. When the current property for St. Joseph Cemetery was purchased in the early 1900s, it was incorporated outside of the parish. Therefore, St. Joseph Parish does not own St. Joseph Cemetery; the cemetery is a separate entity with its own bank account and tax ID number. This means that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Insurance Plan does not cover this particular cemetery. We are grateful for any support that you can offer.
June begins a sparse month in our parishes. Fr. Willig and I will both be gone for vacations and other activities. For the rest of June, there will be only one daily Mass in our parishes due to our absences. This upcoming week, Fr. Willig will be attending a workshop for newly ordained priests at our seminary in Cincinnati. The following two weeks, I’ll be on vacation with Fr. Jarred Kohn and Fr. Alex Dugas. We are going to Europe to meet a friend who is studying Sacred Scripture in Italy. The final week of June, Fr. Willig will be on vacation.
There will be visiting priests a couple weekends. On two weekends, Fr. Alex Dugas will be covering Masses. If you were not able to attend his Mass of Thanksgiving in May, this will be a great opportunity to join him in thanksgiving to God. On the weekend of June 10-11, he will have the Masses at St. Lawrence and Immaculate Conception (although I’ll be preaching). On June 24-25, he will have the Masses at St. Joseph and St. John.
Finally, we have just concluded our CCD year. During the last year, Fr. Willig, Christopher Buschur, Angie Soules, myself, and a few parishioners took turns teaching the 7th and 8th graders at Immaculate Conception. It was a great experience and brought us a lot of joy. One difficulty was the size of the room. The room was not big enough to have tables. The students sat on folding chairs with no place to write.
The classroom is located in the upstairs of the former convent. At one point the convent was divided into two rental units, one upstairs and the other downstairs. There haven’t been any tenants in decades, however there is still an old kitchen, full bath, and small bedrooms. In the winter, we brainstormed knocking down some walls. It was estimated that this would cost $50,000.
Miraculously, a couple weeks after receiving the estimate, we received a letter that a man in Florida had died and he had willed $50,000 to Immaculate Conception Church. I’ve read this man’s obituary and can’t figure out what his relationship to IC is. It seemed like a sign from God, that we should use this money to tear down some walls in the convent. This will give us plenty of room for catechetical programs at IC. The project will take place this summer in the convent building. I continue to marvel at the goodness of the Lord. He truly provides for our needs.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson