I remember the first time I arrived at St Anne. It was the year 2011 and, along with Fr. Schlarb and the Vicar for Priests, Fr. David Sanfilippo, we were slowly reviewing the most important aspects of the parish life. When the time came to talk about the parish debt, my heart almost stopped in shock. Casually, Fr. Greg happened to mention that there was still about two million dollars in debt to pay for the campus and installations. Two million dollars!
It is incredible to think that, finally, this March, after many years and great sacrifice, we will be able to make the last payment! When I say that there are many good people at St. Anne, I say it truly convinced of the generosity of our parishioners – those who are reading this now and who fill the pews every Sunday. Paying off the parish debt is a miracle that has been made possible thanks to your love and fidelity to St. Anne. This parish is not only the place where you come to pray once a week; you have made it yours with your commitment, your consistency, your caring and dedication.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to give a huge thank you to all the people – so many people- who have collaborated in the realization of this miracle: pastors, members of the Finance Council, staff members, as well as each and everyone of the donors, most of you anonymous, who have proved in such an admirable way, your love for God and for this community of faith. So much generosity! I ask you, Lord, to reward with your abundant blessings, all of those who at any time helped to reduce the parish debt.
As your pastor, I know what St Anne means to you. Here you have baptized your children and bid farewell to your loved ones. Here you have come to lay your worries and fears before the Blessed Sacrament, and left your sins behind and experienced the mercy of God. Recognizing all that St Anne has been for you, you have come to her aid with your financial support.
Paying off the parish debt is possibly one of the most transcendental events in the 70 years of history of our community. I deeply thank you all and want to encourage you to face the new challenges and projects that Providence will surely place before us. Let us ask for the boldness of our predecessors to confront the future with our trust placed only in God.