Pastor’s 2023 AMA Letter

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

I hope and pray that you and your loved ones are well.

Throughout my high school years, I proudly wore a black blazer with the school crest on its breast pocket. The school motto read: Virtus in Arduis or Strength in Difficulties. Those three words were my introduction to the Latin language. Those three words have remained with me all my life and are emblazoned on my heart. I learned at an early age that God is our Strength in Difficulties.

We are living in interesting times (pardon the understatement!). Some would say unsettling times, disturbing and difficult times, and times when it’s almost impossible to keep up with the pace of change in our world. Our loving God remains a reassuring constant presence throughout all the changes that occur, whether in our personal lives, or in the world around us. God continues to be our Strength in Difficulties.

We have come through the Covid pandemic, which affected each of us in unique and challenging ways. As a parish, we at Carmel Mission Basilica have had the opportunity to pray and reflect on what it really means to be the Body of Christ. Our many ministries have adapted to new challenges and to different circumstances. We continue to welcome all those who come our way, believing that we are all part of the Body of Christ. Bishop Danny has chosen the theme “WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST,” for our Annual Ministry Appeal 2023.

We launch our 2023 AMA Campaign under the subtitle FAITH IN OUR FUTURE and once again have set a goal of $250,000. For the last several years we have had the most successful campaign in our Diocese. The first $61,200 will go to support a number of important diocesan ministries. The remainder will come directly to our parish. We are facing our future with confidence and courage, but like our founder and first pastor, Saint Junípero, we face our future primarily with faith that the good work that he began will continue.

In my annual parish letter, I was pleased to report on the positive steps we have taken to reduce and manage debt while maintaining a balanced budget. We intend to chart the future of our beautiful Mission parish by establishing a multi-year plan.

As an essential part of our planning our future together, I am happy to report that we will be launching The Carmel Mission Legacy Society during our AMA campaign. Carmel Mission has a rich history of receiving significant legacy contributions over the years. We field many inquiries about how to support our beautiful Mission into the future and we now have a way of bringing them together in our Legacy Society. The Legacy Society allows benefactors to include Carmel Mission in their planned giving and offers the opportunity to make long lasting impact on the Mission community for generations to come. We will be sharing more about the Carmel Mission Legacy Society in the coming weeks and months and hope you will prayerfully consider joining.

After the deluge of the recent storms, some of the weaknesses in our infrastructure were exposed and cry out for attention. We suffered damage from fallen trees, leaking roofs due to tiles being blown out of place, drainage causing erosion, lack of reliable backup power systems, to mention a few. We were incredibly fortunate to have carried out a successful temporary fix to our ancient generator just before the storms. It remained functioning and we did not miss a single Mass, wedding, funeral, baptism, or concert. Our ancient generator is now ready to take its place in one of our museums!

We are evaluating all aspects of maintaining, protecting and preserving the property by establishing a property assessment and getting campus wide condition reports by professional contractors. Such a report will help us evaluate, prioritize and fund the required systemic property improvements.

Specifically in 2023, we are faced with the need to replace the aforementioned ancient generator, as well as expand our ability to provide power across our large campus under any conditions. Our roofs need attention and in some cases significant repair. The tile floor of the Basilica is in need of repair and care. And as you know too well from your own homes, our planned comprehensive professional evaluation will almost certainly reveal other areas requiring immediate attention.

I am always encouraged and inspired by the great generosity and the level of committed support we enjoy from you, our parish family. We are able to have FAITH IN OUR FUTURE because we know God will always be our Strength in Difficulty and that you are part of that future. I hope you will prayerfully consider supporting our 2023 AMA campaign.

The future is bright!

I wish you and your loved ones blessings of good health and great happiness.

In the great love of Jesus Christ,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.
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