Pray the Rosary
May is the month of Our Lady, and a good time to resolve to pray a daily rosary. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Just a couple of weeks ago, two world-famous Catholics made strong pitches for the daily rosary. There was Pope Francis, of course, who exhorted Catholics around the world to pray the rosary every day in May for a peaceful resolution to the war in Ukraine. The actor Mark Wahlberg also encouraged his 18 million Instagram followers to pray the rosary each day. As a way of helping people do that, the former rapper and current star of Father Stu partnered with an app called “Hallow.” Using the Hallow app, one can pray along with Wahlberg all the mysteries of the rosary. It’s unclear if the Funky Bunch are featured at all on the Hallow app. Seems unlikely.
If that’s not enough of an endorsement, May 13 was the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, the commemoration of the Blessed Mother’s appearance to three peasant children in Portugal in 1917. As she did during her apparition to St. Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858, Our Lady told the children of Fatima of the crucial importance of praying the rosary each day for peace in the world, which includes peace in our communities and peace in our families. The rosary, it appears, is not a pious relic of a bygone era. It’s a very powerful prayer, one that too few of us are in the habit of praying, with the world suffering as a result.
This week, we will be starting the second phase of our capital improvement plan for the St. Cecilia campus. The first phase was the renovation of the rectory, which was completed with great success last August. The second phase of improvements will focus on the Parish Center, where the parish offices are located. If you recall from the We Stand With Christ capital campaign from two years ago, the plan for the Parish Center is to remove the existing dilapidated handicap ramp and replace it with a new ramp that meets all code requirements. The ramp will lead to the front doors of the Parish Center from a small parking lot that will be installed in the grassy area between the old convent and the grotto. This parking area will provide much improved and safer access to the Parish Center, obviating the need to parallel park on the busy driveway in front of the building. The parking lot and the ramp will be properly illuminated with a lighting design that meets all city building code specifications. We are reasonably hopeful that the project will be finished by the end of August, weather permitting.
Of course, the project will create some unavoidable disruptions on our campus. While the steps and the ramp are under construction, the only access to the Parish Center will be through the door on the west side of the building, facing the school. We expect that access to the main doors will be restored within a few weeks of the demolition of the old ramp. While there is no ramp access to the building, I would ask those who have difficulty climbing stairs to call the office before coming in person. We might be able to find a way to help you without your having to come into the building. Another temporary inconvenience will be the lack of access to the southeast entrance/exit of the campus, located between the rectory and the grotto. Because that area will be blocked with equipment, parishioners and visitors will have to use the driveways on either side of St. Cecilia Church to enter and exit the campus for the duration of the project.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we make these much-needed improvements to the Parish Center. Although it will cause some inconvenience, when the project is completed I believe our community will conclude it was well worth the trouble. I also thank you for your continued commitment to fulfill your pledges to the We Stand With Christ campaign. Your generosity is what allows us to undertake these projects, so that we can be good stewards of what we’ve inherited and what we in turn will hand down to those who come after us.