October 22, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters,

On this 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Scripture readings remind us of our dual responsibilities: to our earthly duties and our devotion to God. In the Gospel, when Jesus said, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” he reminds us that just as we owe certain duties to our earthly abode, we equally owe our devotion and service to the Almighty (cf. Mt 22:15-21).

In reflecting on this theme, our beloved church comes to mind. Just as any homeowner knows the significance of maintaining their dwelling, we too must understand the importance of keeping our church building and parish facilities in good condition. Our church is not just a building; it’s a legacy. Our forefathers worked tirelessly, sacrificing much, to gift us this magnificent edifice. We owe it to them, ourselves, and our future generations to ensure it remains a beacon of faith.

I am pleased to report to you that we have been taking significant strides in preserving and enhancing our church. For many years, as many of you have personally experienced, the rains brought severe flooding which threatened the very foundation of our church building. The original clay pipes beneath the ground have been found to be severely deteriorated and collapsed, impeding proper drainage. I’m thrilled to announce that we have replaced the original clay pipes, and that the longstanding issue of flooding in our church has been resolved. Indeed, after the recent flash rains, our church remained completely dry! Moreover, the sporadic leaks in both the main church and chapel have also been tended to, ensuring the safety and sanctity of our worship spaces.

Looking ahead, two significant projects are underway. You might have noticed the scaffolding gracing our church’s facade. It has been set up to address the deteriorating wood frames around our beautiful stained-glass windows. Expert guidance has shown the urgency of this repair. Soon, these windows will not only be protected but also shine luminously, even from outside at night. Concurrently, thanks to a generous bequest from a parishioner, we hope to reinstate the melodious chimes of our church bell soon, echoing the Catholic presence in our community.

Furthermore, to address our growing community’s needs, construction will commence on expanding the glass atrium along the left corridor, facing the rectory. This will realize a promise I had made to provide additional space for our myriad of groups and ministries, which has been a critical need as our community continues to grow. As these projects progress, I assure you that our daily Mass and services will remain uninterrupted, and inconvenience will be kept to a minimal. I humbly ask for your patience and collaboration during this period.

The cherry on top—quite literally—is that we have planted cherry blossoms around our church, rectory, and school, and even replaced missing maple trees, thanks to a philanthropic gift. Come next spring, we will be greeted with their serene beauty that will delight and uplift our souls.

These accomplishments, dear parishioners, have been possible due to your unwavering faith, generosity, and commitment. Each brick laid, every tree planted, is a testament to your love for our church and will ensure that it remains a place of encounter, faith, and community for future generations.

I want to end with this Sunday’s resounding Responsorial Psalm: “Give the Lord glory and honor” (Ps 96). For in all our endeavors, may we glorify Him and hold our beloved church as a symbol of our collective pride, gratitude, and joy.

In Christ’s love,

Msgr. Cuong M. Pham