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Precis of the Joint Meeting of the Pastoral Council, Finance Council and Crystal Room Task Group.

Joint Meeting of the Finance Council, Parish Council and the Crystal Room Task Group. Thursday, March 28, 2019

We reviewed the resume and interviewd Oris Rintala for the position of Crystal Room Event Manager and Marketer. We were favorably impressed and will continue important discussions with her.

We reviewed other plans for the rental of the Crystal Room at Foggy Bottom.  The present sign will soon be replaced with an appropriate sign.  Parking for events in the Crystal Room have been arranged with the parking garage on 24th and K St. They are very accommodating.

The Sant'Egidio Community which has been meeting here for twelve years made a presentation on enhancing our Holy Week Liturgical experience. The elements below will be incorporated into our Holy Week Calendar. Also, Sant'Egidio will take the lead  in re-starting our tradition of a Thanksgiving Dinner for parishioners. We also agreed to their use of the Gallery or Crystal Room for dinners of their members.  Parishioners are warmly welcome to participate in their traditional events and in the community.

Sant'Egidio is a  global lay Catholic Community, with 70,000 members; originally began by high school students centered in the Roman parish in Trastevere; and the parish church of Sant'Egidio (Saint Giles). Once, for mediating the end of a civil war in Mozanbique, the international group was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Pope Francis is high in his praise of this group which he enjoys visiting. They have the custom in Rome of each person on Holy Thursday having the option of imitating Christ by washing the feet of another person at the service. This is also done  in many southern parishes in the United States and they are masters of the logistics involved. Michael Grace attended such a Holy Thursday service in a basilica in the US. The consensus of the meeting was that our parish community was not ready to introduce this custom  this year; at the least, more instruction would be needed.

The following devotions will become part of our Holy Week calendar.

The spiritual and service opportunities we would like to open to parishioners as part of Holy Week and include some or all of them on your Holy Week schedule:

  • Palms to the Elderly: A service opportunity to walk together after the 12:30 pm mass on Palm Sunday to bring palms to the elderly residents at Inspire Rehab Center (.8 miles away at 2131 O st NW). At the nursing home we will gather for residents for a prayer and then engage in fellowship and visiting with them.


  • Prayer of the Martyrs: A vespers prayer on Wednesday of Holy Week, dedicated to the Martyrs. This prayer is done every year in our mother community in Rome, and our communities all around the world and focuses on the spiritual witness and faith of Christian martyrs across the centuries, including the 20th century and modern times. It is a beautiful part of Holy Week for us, journeying toward the cross. As you may know the Church of San Bartolomeo in Rome, under Sant’Egidio custody, holds the relics of many martyrs of the 20th century, including Oscar Romero’s bible. (Sant‘Egidio was in charge of the cause to make Romero a saint.)


  • Washing of the Feet: Participation in your Holy Thursday Last Supper Liturgy. For this we are open, if the parish is interested, in helping the parish implement a peer-to-peer washing of the feet. This is a beautiful tradition which brings Jesus’ message to the pews. It does require however a number of volunteers (approximately 10) and at least one practice session to choreograph. See more details below on the choreography. Our mother community in Rome regularly does this liturgy in the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere (and many other churches too!)


  • Walking Stations of the Cross: A neighborhood walking Stations of the Cross in the evening, after the last evening liturgy, around 7 pm. A group of students and member of Sant’Egidio would prepare a simple meal for the homeless in the kitchen downstairs and then distribute that food through the neighborhood to homeless (they regularly do this each week, so it is not a new activity) while stopping a certain points to pray and reflect on the stations.


  • Silent Prayer at the Tomb: Also on Good Friday after the evening walking stations: a period of “Quiet Prayer at the Tomb” in the main sanctuary of the church (perhaps until 9 or 10 pm).


  • Reflection: On Saturday morning (10 am to 11:30) a group reflection sharing on Holy Week and Easter led by the Community of Sant’Egidio in the Crystal Room.


  • Easter Party with Elderly; Easter Sunday volunteer opportunity: celebration of Easter party with elderly at Inspire Rehab center.


EXTENSIVE  HVAC  REPAIRS.  The Engineering Study of our buildings done six years ago predicted $500,000 in maintenance costs as equipment in our 60+ year old buildings wore out. It looks like the expenses will. Within a years time the expenses will add up to $34380 of which $176800 was itemized on June 3rdNOW WE ARE FACING $167,000  in necessary replacement costs for air handlers servicing the Main church, chapel , Crystal Room and terrace level meeting rooms. TO meet these extraordinary expenses the Finance Council members have recommended : 1: The Pastor personally ask some especially generous parishioners for special assistance; 2. We conduct a Capitol Campaign giving an opportunity to all parishioners to assist in this maintenance effort; 3. Add a monthly maintenance envelope to the packets we send out.

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