Fr. Ted's Parish Update
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Serving the parishes of
Saint Catherine. Preston. CT • Saints Thomas and Anne. Voluntown. CT • Saint Mary, Jewitt City, CT
Thank you for your patience at Masses two weekends ago on April 29 and 30. Bright and early that Sunday morning, Father Steve went to the Plainfield emergency room with severe hack pain, limiting his ability to walk. The doctor prescribed medications and sent him home to the rectory. Fr. Steve was feeling much belter by the late afternoon but that put him out of commission for Sunday masses. Due to the priest shortage. I could only find one priest partly available for help. Father Paul Ramen. who was already scheduled for a Mass at Sacred I leart Church in Taftville at 8 a.m„ agreed to celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Catherine Church in Preston. This allowed me to preside at First Communion at the 11 a.m. Mass in Jewett City with two minor changes, namely not giving a homily at the 8 a.m. Mass at Saint Mary Church in Jewett City and thus ending Mass earlier and then starting the 9:00 a.m. Mass late at Saints Thomas & Anne Church in Voluntown. If this sounds convoluted and a bit confusing, it is. However, this is now the reality.
In addition, we were late starting the 4:00 p.m. vigil Mass at Saint Mary in Jewett City on Saturday due to extra preparation for a Mass with baptism. Several people offered to help with set-up but with time constraints it was quicker to simply set everything up as quickly as I could, though this does emphasize the need for sacristans. These people help set up for Mass and help clean up afterwards. I he time commitment would be thirty minutes before Mass and about fifteen minutes after Mass. If you would like to help as a sacristan, please contact my administrative assistant, Sheila, at Saint Mary's at (860) 376-2044.
During the past week, there have been two urgent maintenance issues that have come up at Saint Mary’s. The first is that the walk-in freezer for the food pantry broke (it needs a new compressor) and we lost a freezer full of food. The second is that the boiler room in the school Flooded with five feel of water due to the sump pump becoming clogged. (Why so much water? The boiler room is below ground and was built over a flowing source of water; so, if there are no sump pumps running, the room fills with water due to fast and heavy seepage.)
There are also a number of maintenance issues that are stalled. These include replacement of the columns (and consequently the fence) at the entrance of Saint Thomas Cemetery, the replacement of missing shingles on the front left "column” of Saint Thomas Church to prevent the rain from getting in. moving forward with the property line surveys for possible Church Hall entryway renovations at Saint Mary’s in Jewett City, planning the repainting of the buildings at Saints Thomas and Anne Church in Voluntown. as well as routine maintenance oversight of all three parishes and cemeteries. This has been the case since last September when there was a change in personnel at the Tribunal in Norwich, where I have been required to be spending more time due to the fact that the Tribunal is now short-staffed because of that personnel change.
If it sounds like I can no longer keep up with the present workload of three parishes and a short- staffed Tribunal that is true. I have been discussing the situation with Father Steve, Bishop Cote. Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese Father Dennis Perkins, and our three parish pastoral councils. Bishop Cote has offered three options; (1) work full-time for the Tribunal; (2) work part-time for the Tribunal and be pastor of a single parish; or (3) continue with the present arrangement.
To our three pastoral councils, I have proposed hiring a part-time hourly-paid buildings and grounds supervisor to oversee maintenance issues and arrange contracts with professionals for larger maintenance projects. Two councils have agreed to the proposal. One council counter-proposed with the suggestion of having a maintenance committee in each parish who would oversee maintenance and then I could meet regularly with each committee.
Having considered the entire situation and all of the advice given by our pastoral councils, I have decided to hire a part-time hourly-paid buildings and grounds supervisor for all three parishes. This person would be responsible for:
- conducting a weekly walk-through evaluation of all the buildings and grounds (including cemeteries);
- communicating what needs to be addressed to the pastor and, as needed, the per diem maintenance worker,
- arranging contracts and being the contact person with contractors and maintenance workers); and
- being on call for emergencies and urgent situations (like broken walk-in freezers and water-filled rooms).
This person would not be required to do the actual maintenance work that needs to be done and would report directly to the pastor.
If you or someone you know would be interested in filling this position, please send a cover letter and resume along with hourly-wage expectations by Thursday, June 1, 2017, to: Father Ted Tumicki, c/o Saint Mary Church, 34 North Main Street. Jewitt City. Connecticut 06351, or by email to; firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of this, please contact me.
Father Ted Tumicki Pastor