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TSG Receives Special Thank-You from Our Lady of Lourdes

August 21, 2014

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On July 24, 2014, Reverend James Ferry of Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church paid a special visit to The Shauger Group’s (TSG’s) headquarters.  On behalf of his parish, located in West Orange, Father Jim presented TSG’s Executive Vice President, Donald Shauger, and Operations Office Manager, Linda Spahle, with two items.

The first was a blue and gold wooden plaque, which read, in part, as follows:

‘I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.’ (Ecclesiastes 2:5)
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Gift of Design, Planting, Rededication
25 May 2003
Our Lady of Lourdes Church of West Orange expresses gratitude to Donald and Lisa Shauger and The Shauger Group for their legacy gift of expertly renovating our Grotto and place of contemplation with trees, flowers, and new life.

The second item, a manila envelope, contained a thank-you letter, as well as a series of photographs taken by Jeffrey Johnson and Paul Hirsch. Johnson and Hirsch are local photographers; Hirsch is also a lifelong member of the parish.

The mementos, given to TSG in connection with Our Lady of Lourdes’ 100th anniversary celebration this year, serve as tokens of gratitude for TSG’s many years of dedicated service to the parish.

Photo credit: Paul Hirsch

Moved by this act of generosity and the personal touch of its presentation, Shauger spoke of the meaningful relationship that TSG has had with Our Lady of Lourdes over the years. Shauger’s history with the parish extends back to his childhood, as both Shauger and his wife, Lisa, President/CEO of TSG, grew up in West Orange.  The local neighborhood church during their youth, Our Lady of Lourdes later also became the location of the Shaugers’ 1985 wedding ceremony.

“I was truly humbled when Father Jim arrived at The Shauger Group to personally offer a word of thanks,” said Shauger.  “When you put your heart and soul into your work, and offer everything you possibly can with each project, it means the world just to hear a simple ‘thank-you.’  But this went above and beyond just that.”

“They put so much time, effort, and thought into expressing their gratitude,” added Shauger.  “That just added a deeper level of meaning to their words.”

In particular, Father Jim and the parish wanted to recognize TSG for its work on the church’s Grotto, which was a 2003 gift from the Shauger and Aufiero families.  At the time, TSG donated both material and labor for the project.  Parishioners donated pavers, which TSG workers used to install a walking path.  TSG also installed benches and provided landscaping services.  The Grotto layout was designed by TSG’s Landscape Designer and Foreman, Rocco Ialeggio, who chose various plants and flowers to be placed around the Grotto. The location’s beauty was accentuated by the addition of the breathtaking flora, allowing it to become a peaceful and picturesque place to seek solace.

“The Grotto provides a place for people to pray every day, twenty-four hours a day,” said Father Jim. “People come here before and after Mass in church and every day of the week.”

“Furthermore, the Grotto design, landscape, plants, and flowers reflect the Catholic appreciation—espoused especially by St. Francis of Assisi—of respect for all of God’s creation,” added Father Jim.  “Peace requires us to discover truth and beauty. And St. Francis was also not afraid to dig underground in his spiritual search. St. Francis called attention to this peace and tranquility in his mission, professing that experience of natural beauty helps us to know spiritual peace in our relationships and among people.”

Photo credit: Paul Hirsch

According to Father Jim, the Grotto also serves a solemn purpose at special Sunday Masses, as it is the place at which the community begins and/or ends processions.  Father Jim added that the Grotto is a replica of the Grotto of Massabielle at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France, so those who have visited the shrine overseas can make the connection when they visit the parish’s version.  The parish presently has a Grotto Committee, which arranges for families to place memorials at the Grotto when they purchase pavers inscribed with family members’ names.

TSG’s work over the years at Our Lady of Lourdes spans a broad scope of work, including the parish’s yearly landscaping and snow plowing services.  TSG mows the parish’s lawn; does spring and fall clean-ups of tree, shrub, and ground cover bed areas; trims and prunes trees; fertilizes and limes lawns; controls weeds, crabgrass, grubs, and lawn insects; and installs mulch.  To further brighten and spruce up the landscaping, TSG installs 40 flats annuals and 150 mums in both the spring and the fall.

TSG has done a variety of parking lot repair projects, such as paving, crack filling, and line striping, to both the upper and lower lots.  TSG has performed miscellaneous masonry and concrete work, as well as removed and replaced several thousand square feet of sidewalk multiple times.  TSG has installed new doors, frames, and hardware at the church’s main entrance, handicapped entrance, driveway-side rear entrance, and cry room locations.  TSG has also repaired steps; installed railings; completed drainage, pipe, and catch basin repair jobs; and done jet vac and camera work for storm drain lines.

Photo credit: Jeffrey Johnson

Going forward, the parish plans to install an accessible entrance to the church’s hall, Connor Hall.  Beginning a couple of weeks ago, TSG also began donating the services of Site Technician, Carlos Molina, once per week to attend to any minor maintenance concerns that arise.  As Father Jim stated, he wants to ensure that the church always makes the most efficient use of Molina’s time.  Father Jim looks forward to Molina familiarizing himself with the church’s property so that he can make recommendations based upon its needs.

“There are always going to be doors, windows, walls, and ceilings that will need to be fixed,” said Father Jim.  “The Shauger Group provides expertise in many different areas that we can draw on.”

 

ABOUT OUR LADY OF LOURDES

Founded in 1914, Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic parish that serves approximately 1,000 families.  At the time of the initial church’s first Mass on November 3, 1914, it became the first Roman Catholic Church in West Orange.  On May 16, 1964, the present church was dedicated.  As part of the church’s 90th anniversary celebration in 2003-2004, the Grotto dedication took place on May 25, 2003.

Father Jim Ferry began as Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 1, 2014. From 2009-2013 Father Jim served as a college campus minister for Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) Newman Catholic Association in Teaneck, and he is currently a college chaplain at New Jersey City University in Jersey City.  Father Jim also has his own blog—http://ferryjam.blogspot.com/!

Father Jim served as a Parochial Vicar from 2006 to 2009 under Monsignor Joseph Petrillo, who served as Pastor from 2001-2013.  Monsignor Petrillo, as Pastor, oversaw all of the abovementioned renovations, including the 2003 restoration of the Grotto and a major capital project by TSG on the church’s front steps and doors in 2008.   Monsignor Petrillo also launched the 100th Anniversary year for Our Lady of Lourdes, setting in motion many significant events as part of his vision of leadership.  With great sadness, the Lourdes community mourned the sudden passing of Monsignor Petrillo in December 2013. It is Father Jim’s hope to build upon Monsignor Petrillo’s years of success and effort for the benefit of the Our Lady of Lourdes community.

Photo credit: Jeffrey Johnson


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