May 22, 2011

Over my fourteen years at St. John the Evangelist, I have tried my best to follow the arrival and departure patterns of our seasonal residents.  Many of these seasonal residents used to arrive in October to open their winter residences and then depart prior to Thanksgiving to spend the holidays with family, returning after the new year.  Over the past five years or so, this pattern has changed and many seasonal residents are now foregoing their fall arrival.  While many of these seasonal residents own a home in Naples, a large number are renters and have contractual agreements for a set period of time.  The most popular contract seems to be a three month rental, which generally encompasses the months of January through March. Some will adjust their stay based on Easter, which was extremely late this year.  Departures or “the three exoduses” as I like to refer to them generally take place at the end of March, April and May.  By the attendance in Mass this past weekend, I feel it safe to say that the second exodus is now complete.  Although we had some very bad weather on Sunday morning, attendance at the morning Masses was sparse at best.  I have always gauged the timing of departure patterns by the amount of “car carriers” seen on our local roadways.  This indicator has now failed me as the cost to ship a vehicle north has increased substantially.  One parishioner told me that the cost to ship a vehicle to New Hampshire (in an enclosed trailer) was in excess of $1,700.00.  That would be nearly $3,500.00 round trip.  They also said that the price was not fixed and based on the cost of fuel, could increase at the discretion of the hauling company.  Other parishioners had suggested that they may hire someone to drive their car north and pay to fly them back as this was a less expensive option.  With all of that said, it looks as though within the next couple of weeks, it will be just the year round residents remaining in Naples to enjoy the heat and humidity of summer.  For those enjoying your final few weeks in paradise, we wish you a safe journey home and a wonderful summer.  We look forward to seeing you again, either in the fall or early winter.

Demolition of our 21 year old street sign DID NOT begin this past week as I had suggested.  Let us hope that the new sign will be installed this week. You have my apologies for the misinformation, yet this seems to be my trademark these days.

This week I have included a picture of the clay rendering of the St. John the Evangelist miniature. These miniatures (11” x 5” x 5”) will be great for your home or office. Our sculptor, Timothy Schmalz, is creating miniature replicas of all three pieces which we will offer for sale at $35 each.  There are very limited quantities (200) of each piece.  If you would like to pre-order yours, please make your check payable to St. John the Evangelist with your sculpture(s) of choice in the memo line.  You may drop your check in the collection basket or bring it to the front office.  If the memo line isn’t sufficient space, attach detailed information and place in an envelope.  We expect delivery in mid to late September.  We will notify you when the sculptures arrive.

We have reached the elusive 50% mark with regards to the 2011 Catholic Faith Appeal.  We now have until the end of the calendar year to reach our goal of $440,000.00.  Due to a very large Easter gift to the CFA last year, we have fallen behind with regards to where we were at this time in 2010.  Thank you to all who have given so generously to the CFA.  We have a long way to go, but I am confident that we will prevail by December 31st.

Triplet update.  My wife (Shelley) has officially reached 32 weeks of pregnancy which, according to our doctors, has been the goal since day one.  Triplets typically deliver prior to 32 weeks.  This past Friday will mark 33 weeks.  We have appointments twice weekly to monitor the continued growth of our three little ones.  While this is great news for the triplets, Shelley may think otherwise.  As you can imagine, she is extremely uncomfortable and it seems that there is a “party” going on inside her belly 24 hours a day.  This, combined with heartburn, shortness of breath and the inability to move about easily is making her long for their birth.  For those of you who saw her before she went on bed rest, you may have noted that she does not look like she is pregnant with triplets.  She has certainly not gained the 50-60 pounds that the docs suggested she may during her pregnancy.  It is literally “all babies” which is the main source of her discomfort as there is very little room to move around.  The ultrasound technicians are now having a very difficult time doing their job because everything is so scrunched together in the womb.  We are on a day to day and week to week basis now.  Any abnormality they may find will result in the immediate birth of our little ones.  I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of you that have included us in your prayers.  The power of prayer goes without saying and we feel incredibly blessed to have so many of you thinking of us in ensuring that we have a successful pregnancy and subsequent birth.

Thank you so much for supporting St. John the Evangelist.

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