Bulletin (October 5, 2003)

I want to thank you for your attentiveness to Architect Kevin Broderick’s presentation at the seven Masses last weekend. He not only pointed out the need to face deferred maintenance (seismic retrofit of school, leaks in church, school and Ailbe House, etc.) but to address our need for a multi-purpose facility (gymnasium and parish hall). We received many good comments and questions after the Masses. At our parish council meeting on October 16 we will be discussing this in greater depth. Please pass on your questions and concerns to council members: Nell Wheeler, Mike Romero, Charles Do, Marcelo Re, Reyna Recinos, Lin Eugenio, Ines Medina, Tim Riley, Ted Naff and Mary French.

At the council meeting we will also be discussing our current financial situation. It is imperative we balance our parish budget if we are to move ahead with our building needs. This week our bookkeeper, Vicente Bolisig, gave me the initial report for our first financial quarter (July 1 through September 30). The news is a mixed bag. Our weekend collections were about twenty thousand dollars below budget. Hopefully we will make some of that up now that the school year is underway, but still that is a great concern. On the positive side moneys donated in relation to sacramental services (baptisms, weddings, quinceañeras, funerals etc.) exceeded our budget by almost five thousand dollars. On the school side, tuition collection was down about $28,500. However, this was made up by almost $25 thousand in tuition collection from prior years. Also we received registration fees totaling $25,500. Tom and I met with our school commission last week to go over the current financial situation and I can assure you they and our principal, Mr. Morissette, are working very hard to balance our school budget this year. I ask your continued prayers and support.

In light of our financial situation, I did make one cut last week by eliminating the stipend for RCIA coordinator. Although this is a relatively small savings ($6000 a year) it will help some. I am grateful that some parishioners have volunteered so that we can move forward with this important program.

Regarding finances, Tom Weber and I will be attending the national stewardship conference in Chicago on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The archdiocese has made it possible for us to attend so it will not cost the parish – and hopefully will give us some help not only in how to address these concerns, but also in how we can enable all parishioners to respond to the challenge of stewardship. Say a prayer for us and all who attend the conference.

One of the things I like to do to take my mind off present problems (and for personal enrichment) is to read books about history. I found a good book at the library titled Galileo’s Mistake by Wade Rowland. As the book’s dusk jacket says, “The modern understanding to the notorious 1633 trial of Galileo by the Inquisition is that of Science and Reason persecuted by Ignorance and Superstition – of Galileo as lonely, courageous freethinker oppressed by a reactionary and anti-intellectual institution fearful of losing its power and influence. But is that an accurate picture of what actually happened?

“The disagreement between Galileo and the Church seemed to center on Galileo’s belief in the Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun – something we know to be true today. But was the debate really about the Copernican theory per se? If so, why was Copernicus never condemned?”

In 1533, a hundred years before Galileo’s trial, Pope Clement VII listened to a presentation of the Copernicus’ theory and ten years later Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus was published – with Church sanction.

“And why did the Church not bring to trial the other leading astronomers of the day who shared Galileo’s Copernican views, some of whom were Jesuits in the Vatican? If the debate was not about this revolutionary theory of planetary motion, then what was it about?”

Professor Rowland argues that the debate was not about Galileo’s science, but his philosophy. He further argues that modern advances in science (Quantum physics, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle) indicate the inadequacies of the “naïve realism” behind Galileo’s mechanistic philosophy. Neither a Catholic nor an apologist for the Church, Rowland has written a fascinating and balanced book on an historical event which continues to have vast implications for us today.

An interesting side note: In 1629 Galileo published a book titled Dialogue of the Ebb and Flow of the Sea as his decisive proof of the earth’s motion. Just as the motion of water inside a vessel is affected by the motion of the vessel itself, so, according to Galileo, the motion of the Earth affects the motion of the oceans. He thought that during its compound motion (rotation plus revolution), the Earth is subject to decelerations and accelerations of its rotation motion, whose period is 12 hours. Due to its own inertia, the seas would rise when "left behind" by the underlying Earth, and vice versa. Although Galileo was a very great scientist, this theory is not correct. Nor, argues Rowland, was his mechanistic philosophy.

Some family news: a weekly newspaper The Local Planet did an article on my brother Louis the “quintessential American citizen.” You can find it on the Internet at: http://www.thelocalplanet.com/Current_Issue/Cover_Story/Article.asp?ArticleID=4252

Quisiera agradecerles por su atención al arquitecto Kevin Broderick en su presentación dada en todas las misas. No solamente indicó la necesidad de mantenimiento (reforzar sísmico de la escuela, goteras en el templo, escuela y la Ailbe House, etc.) sino también un edificio de múltiples usos (gimnasio y salón parroquial). Recibimos buenos comentarios y preguntas. En la próxima reunión del Consejo Parroquial hablaremos en mayor profundidad. Se puede mencionar sus preguntas y preocupaciones a los miembros del Consejo: Marcelo Re, Reina Recinos, Inés Medina de la comunidad hispana

En la reunión del Consejo también hablaremos de la situación financiera corriente. Es esencial que balanceamos el presupuesto si vamos a avanzar con las necesidades de los edificios. He dado un resumen mas detallado en la sección ingles y pido sus oraciones y apoyo.

En cuanto a las finanzas, el Sr. Tom Weber y yo asistiremos a la conferencia nacional de mayordomía en Chicago lunes, martes y miércoles de esta semana. La arquidiócesis ha posible que asistamos para que no cueste nada a la parroquia – y espero que aprendamos algo para enfrentar mejor nuestra situación y ayudar a todos los miembros de Sagrada Familia responder al desafió de mayordomía. Favor rezar una oración por nosotros y todos que asistan a la conferencia.