Sunday, November 16, 2014

Burning of All Saints Catholic School Mortgage!

September 30th, 2009 a mortgage was taken out through the Catholic Order of Foresters by Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Sierra Vista and it was finally paid off on October 20, 2014 and the burning of the mortgage happened on November 16, 2014!

Here is the story with a happy ending!

There was a need for additional classrooms at All Saints Catholic School, which is the parish school for Our Lady of the Mountains Parish. Fr. Brazaskas, pastor at the time, took out a mortgage for $486,000 to complete the school building project. It was a 13 year mortgage through Catholic Order of Foresters.

The last three years, Sr. Caro,l as principal and Fr.Ariel Lustan, as pastor, worked very hard to pay off the mortgage so that a new project could be started-the raising of funds for the building of a parish rectory. All these years Our Lady of the Mountains Parish had no permanent rectory for their priest. A house has been rented or the pastor owned his own home.

At last, seeing that the mortgage was paid off funds were raised to build a parish rectory and the rectory is almost neared completion. It was time to celebrate as a school and as a parish.

It was the third Sunday of the month so it was the school choir's turn to sing at the 9:30am Mass and do the Sunday's readings.

As the last song was announced, the altar servers led the procession followed by the school choir singing, Give Thanks to the Lord, as they processed out of church to the courtyard, where a small fire pit was set up to burn the school mortgage.

Passing out the parts for the burning ceremony.

Giving the details of how the mortgage came about and how it was paid off in 5 years. 

Today we gather to celebrate a milestone in our parish and school.
We come today to celebrate the good works God has worked through all of us.

 Candles were given to the pastor, Fr. Mike, two students, a parent, Parish Council President and Sr. Carol Seidl, the Principal.

Little by little it burned away!

Smiles appeared as it turned to ashes!
Debt free at last! Give thanks and praise to the Lord, our God.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Salute to Our Veterans!


One truly knows the meaning of Veterans' Day when you are in an Army city. Sierra Vista is home to Fort Huachuca, an Army Fort where currently hundreds of young Army recruits come for basic training. They also offer classes for officers to be.

Veterans Day here started off with a parade at 9:00am. All branches of the military were represented. It was a beautiful site of patriotism both by the participants in the parade and those viewing it on the sidelines. Makes you proud to say - " I am an American in the United States of America!"

Let me take you to the parade!  Be sure to stand and cheer for those who defend us and have defended us.

 Our flag is being carried through the parade and very proudly!

 The Knights of Columbus show their support in all their color. Many are veterans.

Army Band from Fort Huachuca.
Some of the Army men currently defending our country.
More ROTC recruits. Every high school in the area has such a program.

Candy and flags were passed out along the parade route.

 Fort Huachuca is home to the Buffalo Soldier. Many rode horses and still do.
 After the parade, Sister Joellen and I went to visit the Southern AZ Veterans Memorial Cemetery, which is very close to both of our parishes.

 Our flag flies proudly in front of the Huachucan Mountains behind the cemetery.
 Columbarium-many sections-beautifully done.
 The Roadrunner-State Bird of AZ - came to pay his respects as well on this Veterans' Day. For this roadrunner did not run from us but stayed close by our veterans.

 Each grave had a U.S. Flag. They have a special ceremony to place the flag at each grave.


Laid to rest near the mountains that surround the city of Sierra Vista.
After viewing the large columbarium and cemetery, we went to the other side of the cemetery and saw the carillon bells installed to play for all the fallen soldiers.

 Another cemetery was off to the side and all the stones were white. In reading the plaque, all of these soldiers died serving our country and their names remain unknown. Many were from the Civil War.

 Cemetery of the unknown Soldiers


 I was surprised to see this tombstone.

This plaque is for the soldiers who are known but missing in action here in Cochise County.
 Benches can be found throughout the cemeteries looking like this.

 A vivid reminder of how our servicemen and women are willing to give their life for our country. I was told this is still done today in the battlefield when someone is killed in action. Their gun, boots and helmet are used to make this military cross.
May God bless all of our Veterans - both living and deceased!
God bless America!