We celebrated well this Holy Week and Easter. You can relive it through these pictures!
Let's start with the Seder Meal.
More than a year ago, the parish entered into an agreement to rent space to Verizon Wireless that will allow them to put a booster antenna on top of the church. Through much consultation and negotiation with Verizon and with the Archdiocese, the details of the agreement have been finalized, and construction is due to begin on or around April 25.
What does this mean for St. Charles? In addition to the initial signing bonus of $9000, it will mean a steady flow of passive income of $2900 per month. From a financial standpoint, it’s equivalent to adding another weekend of income to every month.
As you might imagine, the income is much needed. For the past several years, the parish has operated in deficit mode and has had to dip into savings just to cover operating costs. We have implemented a number of measures to balance the budget, and we expect to finish this fiscal year in the black. Yet the severe winter exposed all vulnerabilities in our plant, particularly the roof and heating systems, resulting in maintenance and repair costs significantly higher than normal. Add to that, we still need to complete the brick repair on the west, north, and east sides of the church.
So, the added income from Verizon is most welcome. (We could spend the signing bonus three or four times over on urgent projects — computers, roof, boiler, bricks, carpeting!) And the monthly income will be very helpful to our operating budget.
What will it look like? Once construction is complete, you will notice the presence of Verizon in two places. First, on top of the church at the north end, there will be an eight foot by eight foot space that supports an antenna structure that will rise just ten feet above the roof. This means you will likely have to be a block or more away from the church in order to see the antenna.
Second, at ground level, near the southwest corner of the church, Verizon will install several power and equipment boxes that will occupy a space twelve feet by twenty-two feet. When finished, this area will be fenced and fully landscaped.
All of this has been reviewed and approved by the Archdiocese. Also, the Administrative Council has been fully briefed and consulted all along the way.
How long will construction take? Contractors for Verizon have told us that it will take about three months, start to finish. So, if they get started near the end of April, they should be finished by the end of June. But of course, delays are certainly possible. They have already begun paying rent.
Are there health risks involved? According the American Cancer Society:
At ground level near typical cellular base stations, the amount of RF* energy is thousands of times less than the limits for safe exposure set by the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and other regulatory authorities. It is very unlikely that a person could be exposed to RF levels in excess of these limits just by being near a cell phone tower.
When a cellular antenna is mounted on a roof, it is possible that a person on the roof could be exposed to RF levels greater than those typically encountered on the ground. But even then, exposure levels approaching or exceeding the FCC safety guidelines are only likely to be found very close to and directly in front of the antennas. If this is the case, access to these areas should be limited.
The level of RF energy inside buildings where a base station is mounted is typically much lower than the level outside, depending on the construction materials of the building. Wood or cement block reduces the exposure level of RF radiation by a factor of about 10. Read the full article here.
(* RF = radio frequency waves)
As always, we welcome your comments and questions. Contact Leif Kehrwald, Parish Pastoral Administrator at 503-351-9889 or email@example.com.
by Fr Elwin Schwab
(Ver traducción al español)
We need to keep you informed about what the parish is doing for our members and neighbors who are threatened by our government about their right to be living here in the United States.
We are joined up with several neighborhood churches and organizations so that among us we will be able to provide a safe place for those threatened to be deported or for families pulled apart by imprisonment or deportation of one or more of their members.
In our parish office, we have packets of information that anyone may pick up that contain the facts and information that a person or family will need to know to be prepared in case of arrest or detention.
With the other churches and organizations we are making sure that we have the things that people will need if detention r deportation happens to any member of our families.
We are organizing a workshop of legal experts so that our parishioners and neighbors will know the laws and their rights and will be able to lessen and lower their natural fears on Sunday, April 23rd.
We have not declared our parish a “Sanctuary Parish” because the exact meaning of those words are not clear in the laws of the United Stated, nor in the minds of most people. We do not want to promise something that we cannot deliver. However, we are a refuge and a safe place to be. No one will be turned away.
There is one exception to that:
No immigration police will be allowed on our property nor in our buildings, unless they have a court order - a warrant- signed by a judge.
Note” You as a homeowner or renter, have the same right. They cannot come into your home unless you let them in. they will threaten you, but the law is clear: They cannot force their way in without a warrant.
Our Social Justice Ministry, our Multi-Cultural Ministry, our Pastoral council and our staff will be continuing to be involved in all these various parts of the developing situation, and you will continue to be asked to help us to help our parishioners and neighbors in need.
We thank all of you most enthusiastically, because you have been right there when we needed anything. We pray for you and hope that you continue to pray for us as we try to be the parish Jesus would have wanted to belong to.
Necesitamos mantenerle informado acerca de lo que la parroquia está haciendo por nuestros miembros y vecinos amenazados por nuestro gobierno por su derecho a vivir aquí en los Estados Unidos.
Nos juntamos con varias iglesias y organizaciones de barrio para que entre nosotros podamos proveer un lugar seguro para aquellos que son amenazados a ser deportados o para familias separadas por encarcelamiento o deportación de uno o más de sus miembros.
En nuestra oficina parroquial tenemos paquetes de información que cualquier persona puede recoger que contengan los hechos e información que una persona o familia necesitará saber y para prepararse en caso de arresto o detención.
Con las otras iglesias y organizaciones estamos asegurándonos de que tenemos las cosas que la gente necesitará si la detención y deportación le sucede a cualquier miembro de nuestras familias.
Estamos organizando un taller de expertos legales para que nuestros feligreses y vecinos conozcan las leyes y sus derechos y puedan reducir y disminuir sus miedos naturales el Domingo 23 de abril.
No hemos declarado nuestra parroquia como "Parroquia del Santuario" porque el significado exacto de esas palabras no está claro en las leyes de los Estados Unidos, ni en la mente de la mayoría de la gente. No queremos prometer algo que no podemos cumplir. Sin embargo, somos un refugio y un lugar seguro para estar. Nadie será rechazado.
Hay una excepción a eso:
Ninguna policía de inmigración será permitida en nuestra propiedad ni en nuestros edificios, a menos que tengan una orden judicial -una orden- firmada por un juez.
Nota "Usted como propietario o inquilino, tiene el mismo derecho. Ellos no pueden entrar a tu casa a menos que los dejes entrar. Te amenazarán, pero la ley es clara: No pueden forzar su entrada sin una orden judicial.
Nuestro Ministerio de Justicia Social, nuestro Ministerio Multicultural, nuestro Consejo Pastoral y nuestro personal seguirán involucrados en todas estas diversas partes de la situación en desarrollo, y se seguirá pidiéndonos ayuda para ayudar a nuestros feligreses y vecinos en necesitar.
Agradecemos a todos ustedes con entusiasmo, porque han estado allí cuando necesitamos algo. Oramos por ustedes y esperamos que sigán orando por nosotros mientras tratamos de ser la parroquia a la que Jesús habría querido pertenecer.
MULTICULTURAL MINISTRY MEETING
MARCH 12, 2017
Present: Eva Gonzalez, Margaret Retz, Marianne Mauldin, Fr. El Schwab, Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak, Leif Kehrwald, Barbara Hays
I. SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Margaret & Eva presented the following summary that was presented to Social Justice ministry.
1) St. Charles establish a phone number (available.24/hrs/day) for immediate help for ICE related emergencies.
Tentative Bulletin announcement:
"Immigration/ICE Raid Hotline. The Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition offers the following phone line in the Portland area and its surroundings: 1-888-622-1510. Call if you see an Immigration/ICE raid happening. They can help you defend your rights and give you referrals to services. St. Charles Church (503-281-6461) can also help but call the Hotline first."
2) List of legal referrals for help with immigration issues
3) Will the church help protect and care for the children if the parent(s) are detained/removed?
4) Support for other family needs:
- financial help with bills, health care, reuniting the kids with their deported family outside USA
- establish a fund or have fund raising events to help
- host a food drive; work with SVDP
5) SC Parish is working on additional ways to get help.
Eva has been attending immigration workshops and added that all the immigration issues seem to be moving fast, generating a lot of fear as people are trying to keep informed. They were told, having a Social Security # if you don’t have documents now is considered a criminal offense while before it was an offense. People are advised to only carry ID that is legal, have a plan, and a passport and a power of Attorney for their children . Also they are advised to pay taxes if they are working because in the future people who don't pay taxes will be targeted. Families are encouraged to practice at home what to do if immigration authorities come to their house. They do not have to let them enter unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.
Further discussion: Father El said that the Archdiocese has advised that parishes be careful using the word "sanctuary" as it can be understood in many different ways. However, no immigration agent is allowed on diocesan property for immigration questioning unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. St. Charles will continue to be safe haven/refuge and will accept anyone with that need.
Action taken: Flyers about the Immigration/ICE Raid hotline have been posted on St. Charles Church doors and the info will continue to run in the bulletin. Fernando Madrid will carry a cell phone with a Parish number for immigration emergencies (available 24 hr a day).
a) Margaret & Eva will ensure that the list of lawyers from the Latino network is included in the packets available at St. Charles.
b) Fr. El - call about Vietnamese resources or translations if needed (Our Lady of Lavang)
c) Parish meetings and information sessions:
1. Share the info on what we have done and are doing around immigration issues. Fr. El will share this at the conclusion of next Sunday's liturgy (Mayra or Fernando read it in Spanish). (Sr. Phyllis - ask Hoi to translate it to be read in Vietnamese)
2. Host an immigration workshop with presenters from EPHC El Programa Hispano Catholico, if they are available, after Mass on April 23 in the Parish Center. (Eva will call them)
3. Combine a parish meeting with the June 4 Pentecost celebration. Using the gospel about the disciples being terrified and learning to speak out...some of our people have experienced the same fear....People sharing their stories in Church/in the gym (Barbara, Sr. Phyllis, Eva attend the April Liturgy meeting to talk about the above idea.)
II. CONVERSATIONS WITH PARISH IMMIGRANT FAMILIES:
Multicultural members have informal conversations with parishioners about what they are experiencing in light of what is happening in our country around immigration issues and discrimination. Report key concerns heard at next MC meeting.
Sr. Phyllis : Social Justice: MACG had a lobby day at Salem about renters rights
St. Charles reps are attending the IMIRG co-hort mtg.
Fr. El: Eritrean Bishop is interested and eventually will celebrate a Mass at St. C. The hope is over time to have a mass celebrated in the language and custom of each Culture represented in our Parish.
Margaret brought an article from the Oregonian in which an undocumented student told her story of being protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and her fears if that is rescinded. She and others have initiated writing letters to Oregon representatives in Washington DC. They mailed 200 letters in purple envelopes, the color of hope. Though the campaign started with young people, It has grown to include people from races and citizenships. To submit your own letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org
TRIDUUM – HOLY THURSDAY, GOOD FRIDAY,
EASTER VIGIL, EASTER
St. Charles Catholic Church | 5310 NE 42nd Ave | 503-281-6461
On February 24, at least a dozen people from St. Charles Church joined with hundreds of others to march in solidarity with renters to stand up for their rights and needs for affordable, safe, and secure housing.
See the photos below.
In November I reported that for the first time in recent memory the parish was operating in the black. In spite of the wintry weather in January, the difficulty many people had in getting to church, we remain in reasonably good fiscal shape. See the financial summary below showing that we are nearly $18,000 in the black.
But before you get too excited, just know that our severe winter weather has exposed many vulnerabilities in our plant, from multiple roof leaks to boiler trouble to church furnace repair. Our bills for these repairs are coming due now. So, in reality, we are about $10,000 to the good.
Still, not bad, eh! I am grateful to the staff for their fiscal responsibility, and I am truly grateful to YOU for your TREMENDOUS GENEROSITY.
Just as Jesus spent 40 days in the desert to prepare for his public ministry, each year we spend 40 days in prayer, fasting, and giving to prepare our hearts to celebrate the holiest days of the year: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
This Lent just think . . .
Sundays | Wednesdays | and Fridays
12 noon Stations of the Cross
Each Friday beginning March 3, concluding April 14
St. Charles Catholic Church | 5310 NE 42nd Ave | 503-281-6461
On Monday, January 30 more than 230 people from 25 faith communities from around the region came to St. Charles to learn more about how to provide support for immigrants. Sponsored by the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ), this meeting was designed to help parishes and congregations discern how they might proceed with some form of support and sanctuary for vulnerable immigrants.
Twenty people from St. Charles were in attendance. See photo below.
IMIrJ has proposed a six month process where congregational teams would form a cohort and meet monthly to receive training and explore practical ways support immigrants. We, at St. Charles, are discerning whether to join a cohort. Please keep us in your prayers.
You can learn more about this process from this page on the IMIrJ website.
Our celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec 11 was outstanding. Many thanks to Melecia Torres and the Aztec Dancers for making it truly special. Also, a great deal of thanks to all those who serve on the Multicultural Committee for all their careful planning and execution. The liturgy was moving, the music was terrific, the food was outstanding, and then, of course, the dancing . . . WOW! Enjoy the pictures and video below.