Merry Christmas and happy new year! As I look back on 2017, I have much to be thankful for.
This year is one that has been dominated by our church building project, a project that has continued to amaze and inspire me. With the guidance of our Design Committee and Finance Committee, what was going to be a simple building with mostly reused items has now become a design of true noble simplicity and beauty. The capacity to make this happen is due to the faith and amazing generosity of parishioners and friends of St. Anne’s. We set many goals that most of us doubted could become reality. Yet, we now stand with over $4 million in pledges and donations. Some of our basic or simple ideas have blossomed into things we didn’t think were possible. I am talking about the addition of a daily Mass chapel, bathrooms which meet code and ADA standards, a new statue of Mary which matches the St. Joseph statue, a new image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, beautiful doors throughout, new padded pews, a new altar and ambo, carpet and tile throughout the major parts of the building, confessionals, a children’s cry room, and… wait for it… stained glass windows!
Besides the financial and physical aspects of the building project, it is fair to say that most everyone involved have gotten to know more people in our parish. Having Mass in the Sky Room has brought us closer together. We have been more focused on that which is most important. For me, Mass and preaching have been so much more rich. Being so close to everyone at Mass has brought an intimacy that is akin to our mission churches. Sharing the Eucharist in our smaller space has brought a focus about the most important things and a detachment about those things that are less so.
I am thankful for all that God has been doing in our midst. It is beyond my full comprehension, but I am so glad to be part of this community at this time in our history. I pray that you and yours have experienced joy amidst the changes ongoing in our parish this year. Thank you for all you have and continue to do to make St. Anne Church what she is!
Fr. William Holtzinger