Q:  What is the occupancy of the church now? Will the occupancy change?

A:  Occupancy now is 725; but more like 600 people for a comfortable fit. The proposed changes do not significantly impact the amount of seating available.

Q:  Are we keeping the crucifix? Tabernacle?

A:  Yes, we are keeping the same crucifix. It will be slightly shorter than it currently is, but it will be the same crucifix. We are also keeping the current tabernacle.

Q.  Is the new altar marble?

A.  Yes, the altar, sanctuary platform, and wall are marble.

Q:  What happens to our current Ambo? Current altar?

A:  The Ambo would probably be kept here in storage. The current altar will be placed in storage at the diocesan archives for another parish that might have need of it.

Some important info about the current altar:

  • There is no data in our parish archives that explains our current altar was carved by a parishioner.
  • Our chapel altar was crafted by a parishioner.The chapel altar will continue to occupy its place in the chapel. There will not be Mass in the chapel because we do not fit into the chapel for daily mass. 
  • Why are we replacing the current altar in the sanctuary?
    • The existing altar is too large for our space.  This creates problems for the priest-celebrant navigating that space especially during seasons where there are more liturgical decorations (flowers) and the need to use incense, which requires walking around the altar.
    • The need to match the marble used in the new sanctuary, which is not possible with our current altar. 
    • The church documents have a strong preference for stone altars, “it is desirable that in every church there be a fixed altar, since this more clearly and permanently signifies Christ Jesus, the Living Stone (GIRM 298).”  And later, in the same document, “in keeping with the Church’s traditional practice and with what the altar signifies, the table of a fixed altar should be of stone (GIRM 301).

Q.  What is the amount sought for this capital campaign?

A.  Current estimated costs come to $1.7 million, but we are hoping to raise $2 million. We want to be prepared for prices to go up or any hidden costs we are unaware of, that might raise the amount needed. Our hope is to be ready for hidden costs, so we don’t have to ask for more money from our parishioners.

Q.  Will the Stations of the Cross be included in this campaign?

A.  We are hoping to include the stations of the cross in this project, but this decision is not final. If we do update our stations in the main church, the current stations would either be put in the chapel or returned to the estate of the parishioner that carved them.  

Q. Will there be access to the Chapel from the main church?

A.  Yes, there will be a door that replaces the current double doors.

Q.  How long will construction take?

A.  Construction will take four to five months.

Q. When will construction begin?

A. Construction will begin as soon as possible.

Q.  Will the carpet be changed?

A.  With the moving of the pews, we will have to replace some of the carpet.  We will try to preserve as much as possible to help reduce costs.

Q.  Are there three additional steps going up to the Tabernacle?

A.  There are no steps going up to the tabernacle.  It is on the same level as the sanctuary.

Q.  Does the ramp push the choir too far back?

A.  The mechanical room is back there and that is not being changed, and the choir area will actually be a bit larger. 

Q.  How will the altar be centered more?

A.  Pews will be shifted about three feet to the right to align things.

Q. Do you know if that brick pillar next to those two doors (with the angel windows) is structural?

A. Yes, the two pillars on either side of the existing door are structural and are helping to support the exterior roof wall.  There is a structural support that goes between the two pillars on either side of the altar. This is the challenge with the arch in going any higher in that this beam will either be exposed or would have to be significantly modified. The second column that is added at the altar will be there to both support this beam as well as to bring visual balance to the space.

Q.  What about the acoustics?

A.  In general, the acoustics will be the same.  We are not expecting any noticeable acoustical change. This has been confirmed by both the Architect and Buist Electric.

Q.  Why replace the chairs on the left with pews? Will the pews on the left be angled?

A.  Pews are often more practical for accommodating larger congregations. They can be securely fixed to the floor, providing stability and safety, especially during times of standing, sitting, and kneeling throughout the Mass. Additionally, pews help to foster a sense of reverence and focus during liturgical celebrations by creating a dedicated space for worship and prayer. Yes, they will be angled.  

Q.  Are we getting new pews?

A.  Yes, the pews will be new. Yes, there will be kneelers in the pews. The pews will continue to have padding. If, at the end of the project we need to cut costs, we could modify the existing pews to perhaps save some money. The cost to refurbish the pews is about 70% of what it would cost to replace them. We have been saving to replace the pews for the past 7 years. 

Q.  What do we do with the old pews and chairs? 

A.  It will be a cost savings (donation) for another parish to use.

Q.  Is the marble too extravagant?

A.  Not too extravagant for our Lord. The art and environment committee from the diocese was unanimous that the marble was necessary.

Q.  Could we use this money for some other purpose?

A.   Our parish is already very generous to the needs of our community, and we don’t lack in our outreach.

Q. Is it necessary to add a bathroom to the adoration space?

A. This is necessary for those who go to adoration or pray during off hours.  It allows us to secure the rest of the building, while allowing adorers of the blessed sacrament to use the restroom if needed.

Q.  The ramp seems pretty long, can it be shortened?

A.  Building codes for ADA requires the slope to be at a certain grade per foot of the ramp.

Q.  Are you covering up the river walk to the left?

A.  No. We will grind it down to smooth it out, then we will polish it.   

Q.  Where are we going to worship during the construction?

A.  Danner Hall for a brief time.