Welcome to the new year 2024: What are our expecctations?

12-30-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear friends,

As we come to the end of the year, I look back with profound gratitude to God for the many blessings we have received as individuals and as a parish. I look forward to yet another wonderful year ahead. However, aware that it is often very easy to overlook the many good things we were gifted with and focus only on the negatives, I invite you to take a moment to honestly audit the year and be grateful to God for all the gifts you too have received. While I leave it to you to individually count your own blessings and thank God for them, I invite you to look forward with greater optimism and gratitude to God for the many more gifts and blessings yet to come this new year.

Even as we begin this new year however, I kept on asking myself over and over again what my focus as your Pastor should be on. I am sure many of you are asking yourselves the same questions and making new year resolutions around this time. Personally, my preeminent focus will always be to help lead all of us to heaven. But, to accomplish this, from the onset, I would like to see to it that our Perpetual Adoration Chapel is built so that our focus will continue to be always on the Eucharist. Therefore, this is what I wish to embark on vigorously when I get back from my vacation early February 2024. But where do we stand with the construction plans, many of you are asking me?

As things stand now, the first Plan Review by the City of Tempe was done by the middle of the month of December and our construction team is making the necessary adjustments and corrections to be re-submitted as soon as possible. My expectation and prayer is that the final approval by the City will be accomplished by the middle of January 2024. In the meantime, our constructor has already started to get the quantities assembled for us to begin purchasing Steel, Brick, and Windows this January. We are also concurrently working with the Interior Design Team to incorporate the Artwork, the donated statue, the altar and monstrance tabor, and Special Lighting, and the other finishes. With these accomplished by January, it is my hope that we can get construction started by February and be completed by Summer. However, let us continue to pray for this happen according to this expectation.

My second focus this year will be on strengthening Stewardship as a way of life here in our parish. I say strengthening because, our parish has for long been hailed as a model Stewardship Parish here in our Diocese of Phoenix. You all have embraced, over the years, the lofty mentality that everything we have is a gift from God which we are asked to develop, multiply and share gratefully with others through our parish family. I hope this has not changed with the change of pastors. I am personally influenced a lot in my ministry by this idea of Stewardship. As a good steward, I am profoundly grateful to God for the gift of you to me. This is why I will try my best to help lead all of you to heaven, using the gifts of time, talent, and treasure which God has given me. Please, join me in this endeavor in the years to come. So, in the coming weeks, I will be communicating some of my stewardship ideas with you through my weekly articles. So, watch this space!

I love you!