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For a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link; Ordinary Time 2nd Week 140118

The return of our daily mass schedule, the dismantling of the Nativity Scene and the noticeable increase in traffic on our city roads are all good indicators that 2018 has well and truly begun.
With an early Easter this year and school resumption only a week away, the first months of the year can quickly slip by unnoticed.

That would be a shame because the start of any New Year is an excellent time to name and prioritise some of the goals we want to set for ourselves as individuals. It is something we should also do as a Cathedral Parish – it’s a bit like making a New Year’s Resolution list for the Cathedral! These are the top 6 goals we want to achieve over the next 4 years.

The goals of our parish over the next four years:
1. Air-conditioning of the Cathedral
In summer St Stephen’s becomes almost unbearable as the temperature and humidity rises. We have over the past 12 months installed the ducting required to air-condition the Cathedral – now we need to raise the $400,000 required to complete the project.
2. Creating a solid financial foundation
Developing the Cathedral Endowment Fund that can adequately fund in the future many aspects of the Cathedral mission and ministry.
3. Not taking for granted the gift we have been intrusted with
It is now nearly 30 years since the refurbishment of the Cathedral took place and the interior needs to be repainted, the rising damp problem needs to be addressed and the obsolete and inefficient halogen lighting needs to be replaced with efficient, environmentally friendly LED lighting. It is financially irresponsible for us to neglect the basic maintenance that the Cathedral requires.
4. Restoration of St Patrick’s
Now that the roof and the internal water problems have been solved we can realistically look at slowly continuing with the restoration of our historic, Fortitude Valley church. Late last year the 1970’s wooden sanctuary was removed revealing the church in its original configuration and potential beauty. As funds become available we want to continue with the restoration.
5. Complete the Mary MacKillop shrine
When she lived in Brisbane, it was to this Cathedral that Mary Mackillop came to pray and celebrate mass. St Mary Mackillop is not only our first Australian saint she is also the co-patron of our Archdiocese of Brisbane. The Mary MacKillop shrine, located at the entrance to the Cathedral, will remind us all that today we walk on holy ground.
6. In the end, it’s all about community
Our greatest assets are our people. Working with the Cathedral Pastoral Council we want to continue to explore creative ways to build up our community by providing innovative faith opportunities as well as practical programmes that benefit all ages and groups and makes us all want to be active members of our Cathedral family.

It is one thing to have goals – it is another thing to have the determination and discipline to achieve them. Some people are mistaken in thinking that the Cathedral has a secret bottomless pit of money – nothing could be further from the truth! At the moment we are desperately trying to balance our budget and find ways of saving money. Like any family, we have to live within our means!

Even though we are a Cathedral Parish we still have the same challenges and pressures as any parish community. We have to set goals, we have to balance our books, we have to pay our insurance, rates and wages. We also have to make choices which reflect our priorities.

Like all Parish Communities, the Cathedral depends upon the generosity and commitment of parishioners and friends to balance our books, cover our costs and achieve our goals.

Over the next couple of weeks I hope to explore with you some of the possibilities we have in achieving our goals. The first one that comes to mind is inviting you to join the Cathedral Planned Giving programme. Planned Giving might be a little old fashioned – either through direct debit or weekly envelopes – but it is the most practical way we have of being able to budget confident in your financial support.

For those who are already part of the Cathedral Planned Giving programme – thank you. Next weekend there will be brochures available at the entrance to the Cathedral for those who would like to join the planned giving.

I can assure you that everyone’s commitment is valued and no one’s sacrifice is taken for granted.
God Bless,
Fr Peter Brannelly
Dean of the Cathedral

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