School seismic retrofit

As you may recall, the Catholic Schools in San Francisco are moving in the direction of strengthening our buildings so our children can escape safely in the event of a major earthquake. Although we’ve survived several earthquakes, we’re looking to strengthen them to current earthquake building codes. We’ve already engaged the services of a project manager and architect and are in the midst of selecting a contractor to begin work this summer. Because of that, and with the approval of the Finance Committee, in the New Year we’ve decided to change the Second Collection of the 1st Sunday of every month. Currently, that 2nd collection goes to the Church Accessibility Upgrade Fund. We will be changing it to the School Earthquake Retrofit Fund. The accessibility fund has left as its goal to build a restroom in the vestibule of the Church. The raised funds will still go towards that purpose when we have sufficient funds for the project. In the meanwhile, as the plans are underway this summer to begin the School’s Seismic upgrade work, I ask for your support towards this endeavor. We have benefitted from the generous donors of years past who’ve built our Church and our School that we enjoy today. Now is an opportunity for us to “plant the seeds” so that future generations can likewise share in our good fortune.

New neighbors, new ministry

In 1924, our Convent was built for the Sisters of Presentation. They taught at our school and remained there until 2004. Afterwards, Cursillo held their retreats there to help laypeople come to a deeper knowledge of and love for God. They leased the building for about 10 years but it was underutilized since they held their weekend retreats only about once a month. Last year the parish explored different ways to bring other groups in for greater financial stability to the parish. We’ve also explored different possible uses for our Convent, everything from holding more youth development retreats to using it as a Senior Living Facility, office space for non- profits, housing for San Francisco Ballet students, transitional home for the homeless, and home for Syrian refugees. But the one option that seemed to make the most sense was to use it as a dormitory for college students. Fortunately, the University of San Francisco (USF) was also looking for housing for their graduate-level law students. And they’re interested only in the 2nd and 3rd floors of the convent, which will leave the 1st floor and basement for our continued use for Kindergarten, Pre-K, Chinese School office, Chinese Pastoral Center, and Youth Ministry. We’re excited with this new partnership with a Jesuit university because it will not only give us greater financial stability but also be an opportunity for us to minister to a missing segment of our church, the young adults. With a core group of young adults present in our community, it could also attract young adults from UCSF to remain and help us expand our parish community. In order to bring the convent up to current city code, there will be renovation in the interior of the building in the New Year. USF is planning to house students there for the Fall of 2017 beginning in August of that year. We’re planning an Informational night on Wed., Dec 14 @ 7pm in our Church Lower Hall. With us will be representatives from USF, the architect, contractor, the Preschool Director, and our Principal. You’re welcome to join us.

Simbang Gabi– Christmas preparation masses

simbang-gabi-2016Simbang Gabi is a traditional novena (9 masses) celebrated in the Philippines to prepare for Christmas. The Simbang Gabi Commissioning Mass will take place on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 7:30pm at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption (see flyer). The novena will be at 7:00pm, from Thursday, December 15th through Wednesday, December 23rd at St. Anne. Read more about Simbang Gabi here.