On behalf of the staff, clergy and myself, I want to wish all of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! It does seem that it was like yesterday that we were celebrating the 4th of July. I just hope the winter flies by faster than the warm weather has. To our die- hard snow birds who will be leaving us soon, please know that you leave along with our prayers, and best wishes for a safe return home. Here in the parish we are getting ready for the winter in varied ways. As you come to Mass this weekend you will see that we have begun the roof, relocated one of the dumpsters, and have completed various sections of the roof. If you want to get an idea as to what it will look like with the new colored shingles, just head to the rear of the church and look northward. The small section over the entrance has been completed and will also give you a sense of the new look. I expect that the roofers will be here an additional week and a half; of course all of this is based on the weather. The good news is the job has begun and we won’t need umbrellas in the church this winter! As we come to the conclusion of the Grand Annual Drive I am pleased to announce that we have raised over $102,000 for this project, and with fingers crossed we might luck out and finish the roof around this amount.

I am writing this column on Wednesday night, and the movie production company should be out of our lots tonight…at the latest by Saturday. This will give us back our parking lot. I want to thank each of you for putting up with the inconvenience their presence has brought to our property. On the other hand it has been quite exciting to have all these movie stars on our property. It will be more exciting when I receive the check for the rental. I will let you know what the fee was next week when I receive the check from the producers, however it is significant enough to permit us to undertake a few extra maintenance projects which have been put off too long. As an aside, I was over Mike and Alison Daponte’s house two Saturdays ago, (probably the place where I got this bad cold!) and Alison critiqued our bathroom, and was full of ideas of how to remodel the space. The first thing she wanted me to do was to get a working heater for the space. I on the other hand indicated that if I were to do so, folks would use the facilities during my homily. She was not amused with this response. Well, I’m happy to tell folks that because of her hospitality that night, I decided to spend some of the movie money to upgrade the toilet and sink, replace the wallpaper, and work from a contemporary design. I want to thank Alison for volunteering to assist with the design, and to Mike for paying for the renovation (just kidding Mike). Seriously I did appreciate her desire to beautify the church, I’m happy to start work soon.

I want to remind everyone about the many events we have coming up in the weeks to come.

The CHRISTMAS CONCERT is on the 1st of December.

To keep this event going we need folks to purchase tickets and make this a Christmas ritual in your family’s life. I am impressed with the music selections which are much like you would experience at the Boston Pops. A word of thanks to everyone for being so understanding about this cold I am having trouble shaking. I have been unable to celebrate daily Mass this entire week because of the severity of the cold. I have been to the Minute Clinic at CVS twice this week, though I have been unable to get an appointment with my primary care specialist. I am on antibiotics at this point, but have been on my back for most of the week. I did get into Watertown on Tuesday afternoon to tape this Sunday’s Catholic TV Mass (a commitment I made months ago) and hope to be there again this Friday morning for the daily Mass (a commitment I couldn’t break short of being in a hospital). To those who made soup, brought popsicles or offered prayers…thanks a bunch!