As we approach our 175th Anniversary, we are in need of long overdue interior remodeling and refurbishing to brighten and restore our church. After attending to the structural needs and upgrades on the outside of the church and the basement, the time for the beautification of the church interior has come.
Worship Space Needs
- Sanctuary Black Marble Removal: Our church interior is quite dark, part of which is brought on by the black marble that lines the sanctuary walls. Despite being the fashion during the time of its installation in the 1950’s, our church interior needs to be brightened up to reflect the light of our parish, liturgy and worship.
- Painting and Restoring the Walls, Ceiling and Stained Glass Windows: As you look up and to the side in our church, you can’t help but notice the cracks and dirt stains, despite the grandeur of the Gothic architecture. Our interior is in dire need of repainting that would also include fixing the cracks that vein the walls and restoring and cleaning the stained glass windows.
- Stained Glass Window Addition: Within the front sanctuary wall behind the reredos is a covered hole with space that needs to be filled with a round stained glass window that once existed prior to the 1950’s renovation.
- Pew Restoration: Our worn and scratched wooden pews are in need of restoration. One can visibly see and feel the ever-growing cracks in almost every pew, along with the faded and dirty stain finish brought on by time and heavy use. For many, the pews are very uncomfortable to sit in for the entirety of Mass. The pew kneelers are also loud and extremely uncomfortable, causing distractions during the sacred liturgies.
- Flooring Replacement: Currently, we have an industrial grey carpet that is in constant need of shampooing due to the heavy traffic and accidents that regularly occur. Underneath the carpet are tiles that have asbestos glue that also need to be removed and replaced.
- Organ Replacement: An essential liturgical instrument used in our church is the organ, which is on the verge of falling apart. Some organ keys don’t produce sound anymore, others stick when pressed and the pedals are no longer functioning properly. The organ was made in the 1950’s and some of the replacement items necessary to keep it working no longer exist. Should the instrument stop working, we will no longer have organ music for our Masses and, equally as important, for the weddings and funerals held at St. Francis de Sales.
- Sanctuary Furniture Upgrades: Aside from the ornate, wooden presider’s chair that matches our Gothic church, the rest of the sanctuary furniture is dated and in need of upgrades. The altar, ambo, baptismal font and side altars don’t match any of the existing or planned designs of the church and need to be replaced.
- Lighting Improvements: The lighting in the church needs to be brighter and more welcoming than it is now, especially in places of prominence within the sanctuary that have no existing capabilities of being lit up due to the current light configuration.
- Music and Choir Space Improvements: The movable risers for our different choirs and cantors are cramped, insufficient, unsafe and need to be improved. Standing on the railing-less risers can become difficult and potentially dangerous for those singing in the choir. The risers’ large space requirement also limits and slows the flow of the Communion exit line.
- Choir Loft Improvements: The Choir Loft, although not used by many, has become a dusty, frayed mess in need of cleaning and redesign.
- Devotional Areas: Our current church has no special area or areas set aside for prayerful devotion. Special spaces to kneel, pray and light candles are needed in our church.
- Gathering Space Improvements: Our current Gathering Space is small and does not allow our parishioners to adequately meet, greet and build community with one another. The space is also bursting with the untidiness of prayer cards and card tables with different announcements on them, further adding to the Gathering Space congestion.
- Electrical Improvements: Electrical improvements in the kitchen and parish hall are also needed in order to be more hospitable for larger events. The current circuits do not have the capacity to handle events that have large electrical requirements.
- Parking Lot Regrading and Resurfacing: The parking lot does not drain water from the above hill correctly, which causes water build up around our church and school buildings.
- Capital & Future Projects Fund: Finally, we also need to strengthen our Capital & Future Projects Fund that will cover any future needs and/or emergencies that may arise. Our 175 year old parish is in constant need of maintenance and upkeep. Because of the age of our church and the wear and tear over the years, there are always new surprises that continually surface.