There are lots of different new years to celebrate. The Western world celebrated two weeks ago. The Chinese New Year is Tuesday, February 5. It is the year of the pig in case you are interested. Lots of different dates around the world – and all are based on some different calendar, event and spirituality – and all have very different ways to celebrate.
One thing that seems to mark the passage into a new year is the hope for good, for peace, and for something new. 2019 will be a year with lots of new things going on in the parish. Some are still in a discussion or development phase; some are gearing up with plan in hand, and some are a vision, with the details on how we get from A-to-Z not yet clear.
The “True North” vision for the North Campus is one of those projects that has lots of moving parts, parts that are dependent upon other parts. Based on planning commitments you all made last fall, we are moving ahead with preliminary efforts for the North Campus. Plans for 2019 include:
- Master Site Plan development needed for approval of later work, not only from the city but also the Diocese. The plan will include a new property survey, DOT assessment of Florida Avenue access, Swift Mud permitting, soil testing, mapping of existing services and more
- Design and implementing improvements in campus security, fencing, and “curb appeal”
- Analysis and interior redesign of convent for conversion into ministry center, and …
- Meanwhile we will continue to expand the ministries that are centered at the North Campus even as we grow the ministries already there.
Slowly ministries have “relocated” to take advantage of space, parking, and ease of access. Some of the ministries already experiencing the benefits of the North Campus include Men’s Prayer Group, Choir, Hands of Hope, Knights of Columbus, and the ever-growing faith formation ministries. This in addition to the community events being held: ministry retreat days, fall festival, Council of Catholic Women regional days, movie night, seasonal events, as well as some outside events such as an Irish dance group!
The True North Vision will be a major effort for us and a critical part of the way in which we “live our mission and build our future.” And we’ve only been talking about year one! This will be a multi-year effort to organically grow our center for Family Life and Ministry.
All the while we have been thinking about our annual gala. Seven years ago, when I became pastor there were no community events that brought people together. And so was brought about the fall festival and the parish gala. They have been great chances for “an evening out” as a parish. And so, we come to 2019 when we have great opportunity with True North and new ministries – and to be honest, we began to have some thoughts about adding a fundraiser or other means to supplement giving – while we had some fun.
And then in the midst of all this, we were approached by some parishioners who wanted to be involved, be part of our events. They also raised the idea of taking advantage of the gala to also be an opportunity to raise funds for the parish. Troy and Jill Manthey, parishioners and owners of Starship Cruises of Tampa, have graciously and generously stepped forward to host our 7th Annual Parish Gala on board their ship, Yacht Starship. It will be an amazing evening of community, dinner and dancing, and a very easy way to raise funds for the True North Vision. All tickets sales and silent/live auction funds will be dedicated to our North Campus efforts.
In the past, because of the venue size, we were limited to 200 parishioners. Now, through the generosity of the Manthey family, we can host 400+ folks! It has the potential to be our largest social gathering ever! And so we want to encourage people to go online and get your tickets – and a discount for signing up early. A night of dinner, drinks, dancing with friends and family – seriously…just put the bulletin down now, pull out your smart phone and go to sacredheart-out-to-sea.eventbrite.com. You are just a few clicks away from not only having a great time, but also continuing to help the True North Vision come to life. A couple of clicks, show up, and have a great evening with friends – what could be better.