Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you to Tricia Henry and the many staff and volunteers who did such a great job making FrancisFest 2013 the best ever!  What a great day for all who participated in the many events for folks of all ages.  Simply walking around made me very proud to be a part of this vibrant and dynamic Catholic Community.

In late September the leaders of all our ministries were invited to a Partners in Ministry forum.  I shared in my September 29 column that we were approached by our neighbor Bethany Hills Baptist Church asking if we would be interested in purchasing their land and buildings.  The leadership councils of the parish began discussing this in earnest in early summer.  More recently the ministry leaders toured the facilities which led to a rich discussion on the wisdom of purchasing this property – thus adding to our campus.  There was fruitful discussion with a strong consensus to go forward in the process and continue with the discussions and negotiations.  While the “brick and mortar” can be easily used for many of our purposes – we spent most of our time looking at our mission and the ways in which these facilities might enable us to better live out the mission statement of the parish.

Earlier this month the finance council and pastoral council had extensive discussions on the timing and wisdom of following through with the purchase and both councils have recommended that we go forward.  The next step is to consult with the diocese and request approval from the finance council and building real estate committee of the diocese.  I expect this will take place over the next couple of months.  Ben Whitehouse, Director of Operations, has done a terrific job in leading this process overall with input from myself and the leadership councils.  We’ll keep you informed as to the progress.

In the peace of Christ

Fr. Mark