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Hello, my name is Ethan Short. Currently, I am a Sophomore at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School and alumni of Blessed Sacrament School. I am Troop 31s Senior Patrol Leader based here at Blessed Sacrament where my current rank is Life Scout. I was recently elected as the Secretary in Illinek Lodge, which is a part of the Scouting’s National Honor Society. Since the beginning of the COVID- 19 pandemic in March of this year, Aaron House, the Blessed Sacrament Information Technology Administrator, and I created a temporary solution to get weekly Mass out to parishioners. We developed a system to provide a virtual mass for parishioners to watch at home through the parish website and YouTube. As Illinois continues to remain in Phase 4 of Governor Pritzker’s re-opening plan, only a portion of parishioners are allowed to attend mass in person, limiting the ability of members to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. The Catholic Church teaches that every Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation and Mass is a celebration of the Eucharist. While I am sure we would all like to gather as a community and celebrate the sacraments together, the pandemic has caused us to develop and observe the celebration of our faith in other ways. Through my work with Aaron over the last several months, Father Jeff and Blessed Sacrament has allowed families to receive sacraments spiritually together, but physically apart.
I am here today to ask for your financial support to improve and maintain the current video system and provide a permanent virtual option and better the experience of mass. I have applied and received approval from both Father Jeff and the boy scout Council to use this service to the church community as my Eagle Scout project. Becoming an Eagle Scout is the highest honor achieved by scouts. The objective of my project is to provide a permanent solution to the remote mass and other events (funerals/weddings) that may take part in the church. I am confident this project will assist the church to continue its outreach to our parishioners and community and allow those who are home-bound, sick, or traveling to hear Father Jeff’s homily and participate in the celebration of the Mass. Over the last several months several people have expressed how the virtual mass has had a positive impact on our current, past, and prospective parishioners. It is the intent of Father Jeff to provide parishioners a long term solution to a hopefully short term problem (Corona). Through your generosity, I will continue to provide Father Jeff and Blessed Sacrament Parish with the capability to not only live stream and record weekly mass but to record weddings and other sacramental events. The solution/project I have proposed and will implement will also allow overflow seating in the school for in-person participation by watching mass on the big screen and receiving the Holy Eucharist. It will also allow for students to watch weekly mass events from their classrooms at a time convenient for the teachers and staff.
To complete this project I am in need of financial support and I am here today to request your help. In order to provide the best equipment and network service for live streaming, I am in need of raising funds. I realize these are tough times and your ability to donate may be limited but there is no gift too great or small. I have worked with both Blessed Sacrament Parish and Blessed Sacrament School to provide a couple of easy ways for you to donate to my Eagle Scout project. First, you can go to the parish website and click on “Ethan’s Eagle Scout Project”. You will also be able to donate online during mass by clicking on the offering button.”. If you wish to donate by cash or check to the school or church please make sure to reference my name on the memo line. Thank you all in advance for your support and encouragement.
Once the funds have been raised, the equipment has been installed and as part of my Eagle Scout project, I will ask and train previous and current Blessed Sacrament students/parish members if they would like to learn how to and assist in live-streaming and recording Mass and other events. I am also presenting my project to Sacred Heart-Griffin's Broadcasting Class as another means of obtaining volunteers to record and stream events for service hours and class credits.
In conclusion, I would like to give a huge thanks to Aaron House, who has helped make all this possible. His company, Complete Computer Solutions, is donating time and materials to my project! I also extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Father Jeff and the Blessed Sacrament Parish staff for thinking of me, supporting me and believing in my ability to provide the church with a viable and long-term solution.