That’s what I said 5½ years ago when I came here as pastor. Some things need to be replaced, some things need to be moved, some things need to be repaired and some things need improvement. At that time, I began a process of setting priorities for the work that would follow.
Our first priority was the sound system. Creating an environment of improved sound was of the highest importance. You may remember the number of systems we tested before finally installing our present highly improved sound system. A major gift from a family in the parish, along with a number of smaller gifts and parish savings, allowed for the completion of that first phase of church improvements.
Our second priority was the roof repair. The warranty had expired on the roof and it was leaking badly in many places throughout the church. The roof repair was completed this past fall and the leaks seem to be a thing of the past. The replacement was also paid from parish savings. The generosity of our parishioners has contributed to an increase in our parish savings.
Our third priority is the interior of the church. Our plans here include:
- Moving the baptismal font to the rear entryway of the church
- Handicap accessibility of the altar/sanctuary
- Replacing the flooring of the main aisle and sanctuary with wood
- Replacing the carpet throughout the church
- Providing a handicap bathroom
- Providing drinking fountains in the entryway of the church
- Improving the family (cry) room and minister vesting area
- Reupholstering the furniture in the sanctuary and throughout the church
- Moving the tabernacle to the opposite side of the sanctuary
- Improved lighting throughout the church
- New paint throughout all church areas
- Improved entry to the church
- Refinishing the pews and other wood surfaces
- And other projects as required
We have been meeting with parish committees, architects, engineers, designers, artists and craftsmen/women for more than two years. We have relied on the expertise of many competent people and have explored every possible options each step of the way. We are reaching the end of our design phase and will soon have drawings and renderings to be shown to our parish. There will be an update in each Sunday bulletin throughout the spring and early summer. Each will also be posted on our parish website. I will describe the plans for each element in detail in the weeks to follow.
Our plans have NOT included any add-ons, architectural changes or any changes to the churches footprint or structure.
Some parishioners have already made very generous donations toward parts of the renovations. We will be appealing to each of you for support in the future. This is a very exciting project and I am anxious to see these long-awaited updates take place. Please stay attentive and involved.
Also, please be patient and trusting in the process. It will be long. I hope that the church can be used at every step of the way. I understand your desire to know every detail right away. The traditions and history of our parish are a cherished part of our planning. Meetings will be held in the future to answer specific concerns and questions.
The Rev. John E. Norman
Pastor, Saint Vincent DePaul Parish