The Extra Mile

08-29-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Many of you may have been thinking, since our Parish Church was shut down for so long, that the parish was gasping for breath, just on the brink. Well I am glad to tell you the life-support has been removed and we are breathing with both longs at full capacity!

As you look over this Bulletin or website, you will see more and more activity, more groups meeting again, more ministries serving our Parish and community, more events planned. They are all signs of spiritual health and strength and vigor. Our objective is not just to survive but to flourish. And we’re just getting started!

So, with that in mind, here are some updates, save the dates and mark the dates:

The first weekend of September after the Sunday morning Masses will be the Grand Opening of “Bernadette’s Brew” Coffee Shop in Madonna Hall. And it’s more than coffee and donuts! We will offer espresso-based drinks, lattes, iced and hot, and yes coffee too, regular and decaf! You might want to try our house specialties, a “Lourdes Latte” or a Mt. Carmel Macchiato, an Angelic Americano or Mary’s Mocha or a non-coffee drink. But most of all it will be a place to greet each other, get to know each other better and fellowship with each other.

In the beginning of October, we will also add an additional Mass at 11am on Sundays here at Lourdes. We also will be offering Mass at Vistancia Elementary School at 1pm on Sundays beginning in October for our Mission territory in the North Peoria/Lake Pleasant area.

Speaking of which, I was up at the property that we purchased for the new Mission with a civil engineer and surveyor, which is off of Lake Pleasant Parkway and the 303. If you head north on the 303 and exit at Lake Pleasant Parkway and turn left, the property entrance is just past the intersection on the west side and about one half mile inland. I don't recommend driving on to the property as the road is really rough and unpaved. We are meeting soon with the City of Peoria to determine where we can place an access road to the property.

The property is surrounded on the west, east and south sides by Arizona State Trust Land and on the north, it is bounded by the Canal (that portion of the canal is underground). The site is quite beautiful and the elevation should enable us to build a Church that can be seen from the Loop 303. Right now, the property is populated with wild horses (all of which are Catholic!), lots of creeping things and very unfriendly cacti. At this stage, plans for the development of the 59-acre property include a Parish Church, an elementary school, Gym, Playing field, an Assisted Living Facility, Offices and Meeting spaces and a Catholic Mortuary and cemetery.

At this point, I would like to put together 4 teams, one for each Sunday of the month to help set up and take down the chairs, altar and other stuff we need for Mass up at the Elementary School. Anyone from Sun City West or the N. Peoria area that is interested just let me know. Also, if you are interested and have some expertise in building, designing, developing, marketing, or other types of relevant experience and would like to serve on the Building Committee for the new parish please let me know as well.

Then there are a few projects left from the Together Let Us Go Forth Capital Campaign (and many thanks for continuing to honor your pledges) which we still have to tackle. First up will be the Lourdes Grotto. I will be meeting soon with an architect to get some preliminary ideas.

I keep thinking the theme of this year should be, “Ain’t Dead Yet”! No, our Parish is quite vibrant and only going to be more so and all of you seem ready to roll your sleeves up and get busy continuing to build the Kingdom of God in this part of the world.

As Jesus told us: “if a man presses you into service for one mile, go with him two.” It’s time for us now to go the extra mile.

Love, Fr. John B.

P.S. Still working on improving the Sound in the Church. I won’t bore you with the details but there are several steps that need to happen to improve the sound quality.