From the St. Thomas More, Scranton, September newsletter

Father Eric Bergman writes:

Dear Members and Friends,

I wrote to you last month about the establishment in the coming year of our parish school and mentioned in passing the coffee shop and gift store in the old Guild Building that will help fund this initiative. We’re asked quite often when exactly the stores will finally open, and just last week we got our answer.

Having been beset by construction delays we could not commit firmly even to an opening month, let alone a day. However, it now appears that the stores will be ready to open in the first half of November, just in time for us to be part of the Christmas shopping rush. This month also happens to coincide with our reception into the Church ten years ago on the Solemnity of All Saints, so our tenth anniversary as Catholics will be cause for celebration in more ways than one. Please continue to pray that the schedule we have received from the contractors will come to fruition and downtown Scranton will soon once again have a store for Catholic books and religious goods.

Even as we look to a promising future we have many people to thank for the successes of the past month or so. You’ll read elsewhere in this newsletter about the completion of the St Thomas More ramp Sept 2015handicap access ramp into the nave, and I thank all who contributed to make this possible. Our carpenters, who also helped refurbish the Convent Chapel, outdid themselves in making it fit in with the décor of the church, but they experienced cost overruns in making it totally compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was my decision to delay its construction no longer, despite the fact we don’t have the money on hand to pay for it, because I thought it too important to put off. This decision has been vindicated at least in part by the number of people who have come to Mass since its construction who could not have worshiped with us otherwise. I’m truly amazed by how many. My hope, of course, is that the other part of my decision will be vindicated by contributions to make up for the $2,000 we still owe our kind carpenters, who have made our church so much more accessible. Please give as you are able and as the Lord leads you.

Thank you, also, for the contributions you made by which we will be able to take down the house at 1622 Church Avenue. Last Sunday we received the money to put us over the top of the $4,400 challenge grant, but this is by no means the last money we’ll need to raise to make the Jerry McGreevy Memorial Park a reality. Over the winter we’ll find out what the City of Scranton requires of us, since the park will abut a parking lot. Once we know we will draw up plans for sidewalks and a fence to encircle the entirety of the two lots we’re making into one. As we find out how much that will cost we will inform the parish and come up with ways to have it ready before the 2016-17 school year begins, since we intend to use the park as our school playground. This option will be a much safer and grassier one than that used until 1984, when St. Joseph School was open on this campus; the Ferdinand Street parking lot doubled as the schoolyard. We are grateful the children of the parish will have green space in Providence.

We owe an additional thank you to the households who have already donated the Divine Worship Missals that we will begin using on the altar beginning the first Sunday of Advent later this year. David Kern donated the one we’ll use in the church, Bootsie and Jack Schofield the one for the chapel, and Anne Marie and Paul SuPrise a third. This third missal we will give to Msgr. Dale Rupert in gratitude for his ten years of service to our community. Msgr. Rupert, as you know, still fills in for me when I must be away, as well as most Sunday evenings when I say Mass in Bath. He has been a tireless supporter of our work, and he took such an interest in our liturgy that he studied and wrote term papers about our form of the one, holy Mass while a student at Mundelein in Chicago. To my
shame our parish has never formally given him a gift, and we hope that this offering will begin to make up for my inexcusable oversight and demonstrate our gratitude for all he’s done on our behalf. There is one more opportunity if you, too, would like to give a Divine Worship Missal: Blessed John Henry Newman Society, our Bath mission, needs one, as well. Contact our Parish Office if you’d like to make this donation. We are grateful to all these servants of our parish, and I ask you to keep them in your prayers. …

The Rev. Eric L. Bergman

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