As you know this year I recently celebrated 20 years of priesthood, of which half of those years has been as your pastor! We also know that this June that the 3 Marshfield churches will become part of the one MARSHFIELD COLLABORATIVE. While the future for me is uncertain, the future of this parish is now in your hands. As we approach entering this new configuration I am mindful of something crucial to preparing for this day. This week we have launched the 2017 GRAND ANNUAL DRIVE and I have sent out letters to everyone whose has donated to this drive in the past. In 2015 GA Drive I wrote this:

“This summer has brought with us the problem of falling plaster from the celling of the main church. We have been working to identify and fix the leaks in the roof, and are addressing the condensation issues in the attic, which is contributing to the flaking and peeling. Once we fix these issues in the attic which are causing the decay, we will have to put up staging throughout the church to scrape off the loose plaster and apply materials with a stronger adhesive bond.”

While we have addressed the condensation, the leaks in the roof itself have multiplied. We have a unique problem because of how the church is situated along the Atlantic Ocean. The many leaks you see come from a sort of ‘wind shear’ that has resulted in the roof shingles scalloping, that is curling in on the top, and permitting streams of water to flow in. We have hung buckets to catch the water, at one point we had eight buckets going at one time. Despite the bucket brigade you can see the ongoing leaks and growing damage to the ceiling. We have to replace the roof this October! It will cost between $90-110K. The range depends upon whether we have to replace the underlying plywood or repair any of the trusses. Let us hope for the best but plan for the worst.

The entire proceeds from the 2017 GRAND ANNUAL DRIVE will be allocated to the replacement of the roof.

I am asking every family to participate in this year’s GA Drive. I am also asking, for the first time, those who attend our weekend Masses (principally the Sunday 7PM Mass) from outside the parish, to make a special gift for the replacement of the roof. Please take one of the pledge cards and indicate that you’re outside parish and make a pledge you feel best indicates how much you appreciate the twilight Mass. Remember your participation is crucial for the success of this grand annual drive.

Lastly, I want to impress upon everyone the need to fund this new roof….now! If we put this work off we will end up with a higher price tag, as more of the ceiling will need to be repaired, and we might need to section off the pews where any plaster may start to form. Please make your pledge today, and provide the funds we need to secure the future of this lovely simple church and vibrant parish family. Great things lay ahead for this parish and for the collaborative with God’s blessing and your support.