Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

The next Pastor will have a few less headaches

09-01-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We are more than half-way through our “Make Mt. Carmel Great Again Campaign”, so to speak, well at least make our aging buildings and infrastructure up-to-date. The rest of us are doing just fine! So, at this point what has been accomplished?

Our shock and awe mission started with a new HVAC System for the Church. This included new air-handlers as the older system (the original from 1968) was unable to handle the new refrigerants that replaced Freon and hence new compressors. So far, they are working correctly and the new thermostats have a button that says, “Freeze all Parishioners!”. I only press it when I really want you to pay attention. Just kidding. We have also made repairs to the leaks on the Church roof and subsequently repaired the water damage on several spots on the interior ceiling. Our final surge takes place next summer with replacement of the skylights over the altar as they are well past their lifespan. In addition, new flooring in the sanctuary and a new ambo/pulpit.

The bulk of this summer’s renovation took place in our School and Preschool Buildings. All the buildings received new insulated roofs, which greatly aid in keeping the inside cool. All of the classrooms were completely demo’d and now have new flooring, upgraded LED Lighting, new ceilings, new ceiling fans, new cabinets, counter-tops, and sinks and many of the classrooms were fitted with new sized windows. A new IT System was installed throughout the school along with the hardware to go with it, giving our teachers and students access to the most up-to-date Education based IT world since it was created by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs or maybe it was Al Gore?

We also made security upgrades including security cameras, electronic gates and electronic locks on all outside doors. A large shade structure was placed on the south side of the Junior High building along with artificial turf. This feature helps solve the problem of the water sprinklers causing the iron fencing to rust on the bottom. The Breezeway got a make-over with the installation of a drain to prevent flooding when the rain comes. LED Lighting was also installed on the outside of the buildings and the Breezeway and the Restrooms got a make-over as well, including my favorite upgrade, urinals with tiny little drainage holes which means little boys can’t stuff number two pencils, erasers, rocks, Legos or bottle caps down them! That means less hours spent snaking out pipes or calling plumbers. Additional Restroom facilities are being constructed on the Field area and are scheduled to be completed in early November.

Finally, McCready Hall was upgraded with LED lights and new ceiling fans as well as a fresh coat of paint. We also replaced nine AC units on the campus that had not been previously replaced. The insulated roofs, smaller windows, LED lights (that don't generate heat) and new high efficiency AC units all help to lower our energy consumption. In fact, the electric usage for the Church, since the installation of the new HVAC system is down by about one-third! (Yes, I have looked into Solar power and since we are an SRP property it would not be cost effective). A few final touches include some landscaping and the addition of Playground equipment for the school.

Now our challenge is to “Keep Mt. Carmel Great” by being good stewards of our Parish. Think of it like this: you don't treat a hotel room in the same way you treat your home. For instance, if the hotel room needs a new coat of paint you probably wouldn't ask the manager if you could paint it or "x the leaking faucet or shampoo the carpets. So, think of and treat your Parish Campus like your home and not a hotel! After all it is our Spiritual home.

Also don't forget to continue to honor the Pledge you made either to the Together Let Us Go Forth Campaign or to the Shea Grant. If you have not yet made a pledge, please consider making a gift to the Shea Grant as we are still short of reaching our goal of $565,000. You can go to our website and click on the “Invest in Our Future” link and make your gift or schedule a recurring payment.

If you remember back in 2007 our theme for the Parish 75th Jubilee was, “Greater will be the Future Glory of this House”, and so it is.


Fr. John B.

PS One unresolved issue is the SRP Irrigation pipe that is used to flood the field. Over the years the pipe has broken several times and I have repaired it. The line is used by four other properties in the area and even though it is considered community property (not SRP owned), the other owners have not shared in the cost of repairs. The current bid on repairs is $15,000 with no guarantee that it won’t break in another area as it is quite old. Here is the challenge: we do have sprinklers on the field but the water cost is much greater than using the very inexpensive irrigation water. The cost of repairing again and again is making the water cost savings evaporate. So, to repair or not to repair is the question. Any suggestions?