I hope you’re enjoying your summer.
I wanted to give you an update on where things are regarding the modifications that we will be making very soon in the sanctuary of church. These modifications will allow me to celebrate Mass at Our Lady of Providence.
I first want to thank, though, the individuals from OLP who have volunteered to help with this work, especially Scott Shipley who has taken an active lead in organizing the many moving parts, Paul Krobath for overseeing any electrical needs that may be needed, and Steve Doyle and Rich Yates who manage all the maintenance needs of the parish. I am grateful for everyone's willingness and readiness to assist in these projects on my behalf.
The scope of the project includes the installation of a lift behind the altar, removal of the two steps in between the altar and the tabernacle, and the addition of new flooring in the sanctuary.
The lift consists of a platform that will sit flush with the floor and will be unnoticeable except when I use it during Mass to lift me in my wheelchair to a height that permits me to offer the Eucharistic Prayer and Sacrifice of the Mass.
The two steps between the altar and tabernacle will be removed so that I will be able to approach and reach the tabernacle.
After the lift has been installed, and the steps have been removed, new flooring will then be added to replace the flooring that had previously been there. The new flooring will encompass replacing the entire floor/carpet in the sanctuary.
While this work is being done, the tabernacle will be temporarily moved to the side area by the confessionals. Once completed, the tabernacle will return to its current location behind the altar.
The start date for this work is still being determined but may begin as soon as July 3. The duration will depend on material availability and scheduling.
Please know that I am very sensitive to the integrity and the look of the sanctuary as it is now. I am conscious to appreciate the history of your church and the personal attachments you as parishioners would naturally have for your church, including its architecture, artwork, statuary, and other details. With this in mind, I want to assure you that as these modifications will include some change to the appearance of the sanctuary, I do not foresee them to be dramatic in their final appearance. They will, however, make the altar and tabernacle accessible for me to celebrate Mass.
During this time of construction, efforts will be made to keep the area as clean as possible, although some disruption should probably be expected.
If there are any concerns or questions about the project, you can contact Scott Shipley or me.
Some have been asking where Father Paul Niemann and I plan to make our living quarters. We decided that it would be good for us to live together, and since Annunciation's rectory is already modified for my use, it makes most sense for us to live there. We will each have a personal office in the rectory at OLP, as we plan to spend much time with all of you at OLP. Margie will continue to have her office at the rectory, and in time we will determine how we will be able to best use the space at both rectories in the future.
Regarding the Mass schedule at both parishes, they will initially remain the same. In the coming weeks and months, we will all consider if any changes to these current schedules will be beneficial for our parish communities.
Last week I enjoyed meeting with your Parish Council and your All Things New committee. I look forward to meeting all of you in the very near future. Things are coming along and soon it will be August 1 when Father Niemann and I will officially begin as your parish priests of Our Lady of Providence!
Let's keep one another in prayer. May God continue to bless all of you this summer.