January 14 – II Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear Friends:

As we continue our journey to our parish’s 100th anniversary in 2026, some of the renovation work that we had planned for that year may have to happen sooner rather than later. Let me explain. 

On New Year’s Eve two weeks ago, Father Andrew was celebrating the 5:30pm Sunday Mass. In the middle of his homily, our organ started making an unexpected noise as if one of the keys was being pressed down. The organist tried to fix it, but ultimately had to turn off the organ and play the music for the rest of the Mass on our piano. Last weekend, our Music Director had to disconnect 7 amplifiers that are located behind the sanctuary to stop the noise the organ was emitting. After doing that, he lost the ability to play half of what our organ is capable of playing. 

To put it simply, our organ is dying. This is not news, however. I explained this to all of you last October when we unveiled our Centennial Campaign with plans to install a brand new, authentic mechanical action pipe organ. The organ was installed in 1987 but imagine for a second if you were using a “brick” cell phone from 1987. You would not be able to make a phone call. When it comes to our current organ, it’s not as easy as pressing a key for it to emit sound like a piano does. This is why we are raising funds to install a new authentic pipe organ so that we don’t have to be beholden to technology from 37 years ago. Unfortunately, the new pipe organ isn’t scheduled to be installed for another two years, which is how long it will take for it to be built in New England. 

So, you’re probably wondering: if our organ is dying, what happens if it actually stops working over the next two years? Well, we do not want to find out. Our staff has come up with an imaginative solution that has been aided by the generosity of a brother priest and one of our Catholic high schools. The Church of the Little Flower must have a proper organ befitting our liturgies, not to mention all the weddings we celebrate (106 last year!), and the expectation of our parishioners and brides to hear the sacred sound that lifts our souls to the heavens. When I asked our parish staff for options this past week, they almost immediately came up with a solution that will hopefully get us through the next two years.  

Almost two years ago, Belen Jesuit school built a glorious new chapel on their campus. The temporary organ they used for its dedication (and before they installed their current pipe organ) has been sitting in storage. When I called Father Willie this past Monday afternoon to ask if we could borrow the organ they used for their dedication, he instantly said yes and even added that we could borrow it for as long as we needed it. (Father Willie is no stranger to Little Flower. Before the Our Lady of Belen Chapel was built, he would be here at least once or twice a month to celebrate the weddings of alumni or to baptize their children.)  

Anyways, here is the plan. To not risk our current organ singing its last note while a bride is walking down the aisle or while we are singing the Sanctus right before consecration during Sunday Mass, we are going to pretty much decommission it sometime this month. The organ from Belen will be installed on our balcony and our choir is going to move upstairs two years before we expected. This means that we are going to rearrange the configuration of the balcony to accommodate the temporary organ and our choirs, and our current choir loft to the right of the church in front of St. Joseph will be removed to make way for the pews that we remove from the balcony. While the pews on the balcony aren’t the same color as the pews on the main floor of the church, the area to the right of the sanctuary will still look dignified as we await the new pews that will be installed in our entire church in the summer of 2026.  

While this all sounds a bit too technical, I wanted to share this news with the entire parish community because, in a way, it will slowly be changing how we worship and where we sit for Mass, which I know is important to many of us. I give thanks that Belen and Father Willie came to our rescue, and I give thanks for the quick thinking of our staff. I humbly ask for your patience as we make these necessary changes to our church. I’ve been a priest long enough to know that when you make the slightest change in a worship space not everyone will be happy, but what is constant, what is true, what will never change, is this: Jesus Christ will still be present at our altar when we celebrate the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass. 

God bless you all,

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