Many contemporary churches are built with a much larger vestibule or entryway that is now referred to as “the gathering space.” If you have visited St. Mary in Park City, St. Thomas More or St. John the Baptist you have seen this rather modern practice.
Our parish church was not built with a very large entry space. Holy Family Hall was added to our parish campus, and built so close to the church, to allow for events before and after masses. The regular serving of coffee and donuts on Sunday mornings is an example of this use. It is very convenient and an easy use of our multi-purpose social hall. Considering an expansion of the present entry to our church was considered undesirable and far too expensive.
The church entry will, however, be updated. It will receive new lighting, along with the rest of the church. Flooring will also be refinished. A new kind of ceiling will replace the tiles that presently exist. New ceiling treatments will be installed throughout the entry area, as well as confessionals, sacristies and family (cry) room.
The family room and Eucharistic minister vesting room will become one larger room. This room is also used as a family visitation room during a funeral. It also frequently serves as the bride’s room in preparation for a wedding. A larger room will allow needed space for these important purposes.
To accommodate this improved use of that space, one will no longer enter the family room through the confessional or reconciliation room. The confessional will no longer serve as a pass-through room, but will be its own dedicated space. The new family room will be accessed by passing by the ladies room. The family room will be newly appointed with more comfortable furnishings.