November 21, 2020
On this feast day of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I would like to share with you three things: (1) The Brothers of Saint John from the Transfiguration Priory in Englewood, CO are launching the preached retreats at the RCH; (2) Thanksgiving for this year’s accomplishments; (3) Upcoming fundraiser of the end of the year for the next year’s projects.
1. After long preparation, the Brothers of Saint John from the Transfiguration Priory in Englewood, CO are launching the retreats preached by them at the RCH; if you are interested, please visit this page to contact them. They will email you all the necessary information you may need.
2. As every year before the Thanksgiving, it’s time to look back and thank the Lord and all of you for everything that was accomplished at the RCH this year: please click here or on the photo below to access the full photo gallery.
- Probably the most important achievement was finishing in February my hermitage (which now bears the name of Mater Misericordiae, the Mother of Mercy), enabling me to start the hermit’s life at last. Many thanks to all who helped with this project, financially and offering their skills and time, to make it happen!
- Then, after the old outdoor chapel was totally destroyed by a violent storm, a new one was rebuilt: many thanks to the Knights of Columbus from St. Mark, and to those from St. Thomas More who offered a beautiful outdoor statue of Our Lady Queen of Heaven, which will be blessed at our next Spring Volunteer Work Day.
- The KofC of the same parish, especially Tony and John, refurbished the interior of the “Patience” cabin, too, which now has electricity, and is very cozy and welcoming – since its renewal it was the most demanded facility at the RCH! The nearby Bathhouse was also repaired (many thanks to Josh Lenzotti and his workers, the plumbers who donated time and labor for this project!), so now in summertime the Brothers and guests can enjoy again a hot shower in there.
- The stairs leading from the “Patience” cabin to the Dome House were finished – thank you to Erv Guzman the Foreman and all the volunteers for this tremendous improvement!
- On September 13th, on the eve of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the outdoor Stations of the Cross were blessed, opening our first devotional trail for our guests. Many thanks to all the donors who supported the project, and to all the volunteers who helped with building it up, especially the Scelza family!
- The “tree-house” which was falling into disrepair was taken down, as well as one of the old campers: again, thank you to the KofC from St. Mark!
- The money which came from the annual Hog Roast Fundraiser in August made it possible to purchase the skid steer mounted snowblower. Many thanks to Paul Glaser who lets using his family’s bobcat this winter to operate it!
- With the financial support of my sibling Justin, Paul Glaser, and Tony Knepp, the RCH was able to get a very much needed Toyota Tacoma 2011 truck – with only 80,000 miles! I can’t tell them enough my thankfulness, as this allows me to affront the upcoming winter with much greater serenity.
- In the same vein, a big thank you again to Rick Marsicek and his family, who last year donated a snowmobile: unfortunately, it was destroyed by the same tree which crushed on the outdoor chapel, and instead of it this fall they donated yet another snowmobile!
- Thank you also to Tuan Cao for donating a big BBQ grill: this enables us to have from now on a nice cookout on our Spring and Fall Volunteer Work Days. No doubt different guests to the RCH will appreciate it a lot, too!
- There were many other improvements done this year: the Dome House roof repaired, septic system treated, the backup generator is (still) being updated to all its potentiality (thank you Paul Glaser and his workers!!), as well as lots of detail work done by Tony Knepp, who came every week during this summer and fall for that purpose.
- Lastly, with many different volunteers we were able to continue cleaning the property from fallen trees and preparing firewood – which is a never-ending task anyways!
Looking back, I’m so amazed once more with the goodness and generosity of so many of you (I mean especially, among others, several large donations), and with the incredible blessings of the Lord which came through you. Aren’t we right to be deeply thankful for what He is accomplishing in this place under special care of His Holy Mother?!?
3. The next year’s projects encompass building (hopefully at last!) a garage for the RCH cars and equipment, a tool shed, taking down the last old camper, continuing clearing the hiking trails, and starting building the Stations of the Resurrection as a natural extension to the Stations of the Cross, leading all the way up to the Transfiguration Viewpoint, which is the highest point on the property where from one can see the snowy Rockies. As all of this needs not only your help and time with labor but also with money, the fundraiser for this end starts already this fall, making use of two opportunities:
- On the Giving Tuesday (which falls this year on December 1st) Facebook will be matching again all the donations received on that day. More information will be given on the RCH Facebook profile in upcoming days, but there is one thing to be aware of from the outset: Facebook’s funds for matching are of some $7,000,000, and they melt away quickly: last year they were distributed by noon MT, so all the donations received later were not matched. If you are planning to support the RCH on the Giving Tuesday, please do it as early as possible on that day – thus your donation will be doubled, if it comes before Facebook distributes the first $2,000,000, and matched to 10% (if you donate $10, Facebook will donate $1) for the remaining $5,000,000. They will start the distribution at 8am ET... which is 6am MT!
- Another opportunity is the Colorado Gives Day, which this year happens on the following Tuesday, December 8th (Immaculate Conception!). If you know any local businesses who would like to support a local non-profit which the RCH is, please share with them this information. There is a $1,000,000 incentive fund set up by Community First Foundation and FirstBank: every donation made through ColoradoGives.org on Colorado Gives Day is boosted by the fund, which increases the value of every dollar. For example, if a nonprofit organization receives 10 percent of the total donations made on Colorado Gives Day, that same nonprofit receives 10 percent of the $1 Million Incentive Fund. Last year they raised some $39.6 million total…
Please click on the image below to get to our Colorado Gives profile, and share the link with those who may be willing to support us. You can even start your own fundraiser to the benefit of the RCH on that page!
And the last (hopefully not the least!) opportunity to support the RCH is to buy the 2nd edition of my book “The Theological Landscape of Middle Earth”: its Copyright now belongs exclusively to the author, so the entirety of royalties will go to the RCH. I know many of you may have purchased already the 1st edition, but isn’t it a great idea of a Christmas gift, especially to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fans? Please click here or on the book’s cover to get it on Amazon.
Despite so tumultuous a year, let us be thankful to Our Lord who continues to love us and to care for us even in the midst of trials. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!
Br. Francis of the Child Jesus, C.S.J.
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