It’s hard to believe but it is almost a year since I was appointed pastor of Holy Angels Parish. I feel compelled to thank you for your warm welcome to me and for the patience you have shown me during this first year. (Admittedly, I had some complicating factors earlier with my heart attack and subsequent recovery.)
Now for some important parish news. This past Thursday we made settlement on an office building at 81 Cooper Street, Woodbury. The building was for sale for some time now. With the approval of our parish finance council, the diocesan board of consultors and the permission of the bishop, it was purchased by the parish. The intended future use of the building is as a consolidated parish office building. The plans include various offices for the secretaries, bookkeeper, priests, deacons, religious education, and others housed under one roof. The building itself is ready to undergo some cosmetic improvements as well a cleaning and “sprucing up” prior to our occupying it.
When the building was considered for purchase, the determining factors included its spaciousness, and its proximity to our church parking lot (next door), church (across the street), and rectory (diagonally across the street). Currently, the parish priests and the deacons do not have sufficient offices from which to work. Additionally, the priests literally live over the shop providing limited privacy during most of the day. This, and other issues, should be resolved with the proposed movement and consolidation.
If you pass the former Most Holy Redeemer property on Delsea Drive (Rt. 47), you can see the “for sale” signs present. In fact, we are currently negotiating the terms of sale for all four of the buildings and the property at that location. When the particulars are finalized, I will notify you in more detail.
At the mandate of the diocesan board of consultors, we are investigating and developing plans for our ministry center (former convent). All possibilities are being considered while determining the current condition of the building, its suitability for future use, cost factors, etc.
When I began as pastor, I was made aware of eleven major buildings plus various other structures (garages, sheds, etc.) that the parish owned. With the proposed sale and purchase, the number will become eight. This will reduce the utilities, upkeep, insurance and other costs to the parish. It should also make a dent in the current parish debt which is approximately $2.5 million.
Finally, I make you aware that we will begin our Catholic Strong campaign in the fall. Most parishes are already conducting this campaign (supported by our diocese). The bottom line is that it is a financial drive to fortify each parish on various levels—especially in its ministries. An unprecedented 70% of the money raised stays in the parish with 30% supporting the diocese. More details will be forthcoming over the summer months.
As pastor, the spiritual well-being of you, my parishioners, is my primary concern. However, my responsibilities go far beyond, involving many fiscal matters. Please pray for me. I am truly grateful for your support at all levels.
Fr. Ed Namiotka