A Note from our Pastor

A Note from our Pastor


My dear family of St. Matthew!

As we continue to “Shelter in Place” with our office closed and our events cancelled, especially missing the gift of our gathering for Sunday Mass most especially during these most holy days of Holy Week and Easter coming up, I would like to share with you some of the progress that is nevertheless happening despite all of that and the necessity of it.  Life goes on, and we continue to pray for the slowing of the spread of the Coronavirus here and throughout the whole world and ask for mercy, grace, peace and joy for those who have succumbed to the disease and passed over from this life to the next.

First, the Principal Search Committee process continues, and here’s the good news!  Since our current Principal for our St. Matthew Parish School is retiring at the end of this school year, the team of seven whom I asked to help me hire a new Principal for next year have been meeting via electronic tele-conferencing — something quite new to me and to most of us, I think!  We have sifted through 17 — yes, 17! — candidate applications, we have chosen six of them to interview, and we have thus far as of today (3/31/20) already interviewed three possible candidates.  I am personally very pleased so far with these candidates and our interviews!  I am quite confident that in the near future I will be able to announce a new Principal!!!  THANK YOU to the 101 people who responded to our Principal Search survey and helped us develop a Principal Profile that reflects the greatest and desired characteristics our community, that is, our school and parish family, wish to see in a new Principal.  That profile helped us formulate our interview questions and, most especially, will help us in the final discussions and analysis as we confidentially share our opinions with one another so that, in the end, we choose the best fit for St. Matthew Parish School and I am able then to hire with confidence our new Principal!  Keep watching closely for that announcement — soon after Easter, I am hoping!

Second, during this “Shelter in Place” time, or rather, days right before the Governor’s order, we were able to complete an enormous cost-saving replacement of lights on our property.  Back in mid-February, we received a quote on changing out a great number of our lights to cost-saving LED lights.  We received this recommendation from our Diocesan offices and all parishes around the Diocese were encouraged to look into it for each of our facilities.  So we did!  Our volunteers from our St. Matthew Buildings and Grounds Committee working together with Al, our Facilities Manager, and Annabelle, our Business Manager, agreed upon a proposal, the contract was signed, and then the work was done, only days or even just one day before the Governor called us to stay in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Once things come back to normal, you’ll be able to see the change on our campus — maybe even already, if you happen to drive by once the sun has set or during the night up until dawn you can see how more brightly lit our parking lots are, and, once inside our buildings, many of the previous fixtures have been replaced with these new greatly cost-saving LED lights.

Let me just give you some highlights of this change in lights — it’s awesome news for us!  55 lights upgraded inside our buildings, and 69 lights upgraded outside our buildings!  And here’s the BOTTOM LINE, our cost savings “payback” is just based on our OUTSIDE LIGHTS, since the inside lights are at such a low cost.

For the outside lights, calculating 12 hours per day per every seven-day week, gives a total of about 16,986 total Kwh (kilowatt-hours) saved annually.  Therefore, since the outside lights themselves cost us a total of $4,874.00, the estimate is that we will have a TOTAL Return on Investment roughly calculated to be in about 6.5 months!  And the savings are ALREADY HAPPENING as you are reading this!  Now, overall, which means BOTH outside AND inside, the new lights cost us $5,395.15.  So the OVERALL SAVED is roughly 24,777 Kwh annually, which means an OVERALL ESTIMATE of paying for all of the initial cost in about 6.35 months!  From that point, then, we start “saving” (or rather diminishing the amount of money we need to pay for electricity because we are using much less of it) so that in 9.5 years (excluding the 6 months or so to “pay” for the lights themselves), we will have “saved” (not paid out for electricity according to the previous light fixture demands) approx. $47,700.00 (based on the manufacturers 10-year warranty), which we should realize over the next 10-year period!  How AWESOME IS THAT!!!

Just to summarize:  almost $50,000 saved in lower electricity costs in the next 10 years, or about $5,000 annually!  In addition, the 10-year manufacturer’s warranty means any of those lights, if they should cease operating, will be replaced at no cost.  But, as designed, these new lights, both inside and outside, do NOT need to be replaced, which is an EXTRA SAVINGS in terms of no need to replace them out as often as the previous bulbs which usually did not last as long.  So in this time, when we must be looking at cost savings even more carefully, I am extremely, extremely happy that we are already doing that, right now at this very moment as we wait for that time hopefully soon to return to our fully open and active ministry as the St. Matthew parish family!  Continuing prayers for shalom and joy and good health for all!

In the living, loving, giving and caring Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Gregor