Seventy is the new 60! Americans are living longer and are in better health.
That means we’re blessed to care for more elderly and disabled Marist Brothers than ever before. It also means that our retirement facilities are nearing maximum capacity. We must take immediate action to prepare for the future!
So…we recently began renovating a wonderful space. Our contractor did a yeoman’s job of anticipating hidden issues, but surprises popped up nonetheless. The renovation – modest as it is – went from $232,300 to $260,312, and we’re facing $28,012 in unexpected costs.
As Easter approaches, I ask for your support. Whatever you can afford – whether a gift of $25 or more – would be an enormous help!
This particular location helps ease our need for space and thankfully solves another predicament, which is best explained by sharing Br. Michael’s story.
Br. Michael has devoted his entire adult life to educating young students, often in impoverished areas where teachers were scarce. For several years – and well beyond “retirement age” – he’s been teaching in a large Marist Brothers’ high school. Today, though, Br. Michael is suffering from severe arthritis and failing eyesight. This will be his last semester teaching. His only regret is that leaving the classroom means leaving his tight-knit community – since we have no retirement facility close by.
He so wants to remain near his fellow Brothers, trusted doctors, and wonderful students that keep him young-at-heart! Leaving the community he’s come to love is tough. Several Brothers in this school will soon face the same challenge.
There is a happy solution to this problem. The space we’re renovating is in the very high school where Br. Michael teaches! The building’s entire fourth floor, once a Monastery residence for Brothers, has remained untouched for more than 40 years. We knew that the space needed serious updating, but we also saw this to be an ideal location with generous square footage and an elevator for our elderly and disabled Brothers. The existing elevator, we agreed, would help keep renovation costs down.
However, after beginning the renovation, our contractor found serious, unforeseen problems that drove the project estimate beyond our budget.
Your support will help cover unexpected expenses, like the increased cost to remove more asbestos floor and ceiling tiles than anticipated. Sadly, none of the electrical wiring was up to code and salvagable. The bathrooms were a bigger disaster than we thought, with rotting walls, rusted pipes, and antiquated, unusable plumbing. The original project cost covered these issues to some degree – but our contractor couldn’t possibly know how bad the problems were until he pulled down ceilings and opened up walls.
Please know that every gift will be greatly appreciated. Consider the nickel tucked in with my letter. Alone it’s 5¢, but many nickels add up to much more. In the same way, if every Marist Brothers’ friend sends as many “nickels” as possible this Easter, the sum total could cover the entire $28,012 needed.
As soon as your gift arrives, the Brothers and I will want to thank God for your generosity. So please, take a moment to complete the enclosed prayer intention slip and send it along with your donation. The Brothers and I will include your prayer intentions during a special Easter Mass that will be offered in honor of you and your loved ones.
I pray that you’ll help us. Of course, I also pray that you enjoy a glorious Easter. May your spirit rejoice as you celebrate the miracle of renewed life, faith, and love for Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development