St. John Henry Newman, who was canonized last year by Pope Francis, was an English poet & theologian who converted to Catholicism from the Anglican tradition; & who once wisely observed, “To live is to change, & to live long is to have changed oven.” I recently attempted to change my Siamese cat Pasha’s food to upgrade to something better—away from the canned cat food & dry kibble that he loves so much to a more balanced & healthier diet—gently cooked chicken & fish. What I experienced from him during the past month is feline stubbornness that I never imagined him having. Being a celibate & not a biological parent, I likened it to a parent trying to coax a teenage child into eating the healthier lunch options in the high school food court instead of preferring the more so unhealthy steady diet of greasy cheeseburgers. It took us a long time to adjust to the change. We humans are also very much creatures of habit: comfy & preferring the known & familiar; & sometimes reactive to any change—whether good, bad, or indifferent—simply because change is jarring for us & for our established routines. It’s easier to stay with the same-old.
Some Minor Changes Are Coming: Considering the above reflection on the struggle with changes, I want to offer a sort of ‘heads up’ for some coming minor changes here at Visitation. Beginning with Lent, our Lectors will no longer remain in the sanctuary for the duration of Mass, but rather will come forward from the assembly/pews to proclaim their reading & then return to their pew afterwards. That will enable the removal of the bulky chairs & kneelers in the Upper Church sanctuary that will be replaced by an additional small bench. Additionally, the Cantor’s podium in the Upper Church will be replaced with a smaller version & will be moved slightly toward the side altar so as to allow for the Presider & Deacon Chairs to be placed slightly toward the side as they are currently in our Lower Church.
An upgrade was made to our Lower Church sound system that now enables the use of 2 wireless microphones at the same time: so the deacon accompanying the priest will now also wear a wireless mike. Due to the limitations of our Upper Church sound system, we are not able to upgrade similarly; but will wait until the next major overhaul & include it at that time.
We are working on reflective, metallic stripes to be painted along the outer edge of each of the steps in front of the Upper Church; likewise, we will install some additional lighting so that those front steps are better illuminated after dusk. The railings now attached to the center of the pillars will be repositioned to the sides for easier access to using them. Also, some resetting of the flagstone porch & some cement patchwork will be occurring soon. I hope that these coming changes are perceived as something beneficial for our community.