My dear parishioners,
How exciting that we’ll be starting renovations on our sanctuary tomorrow, March 14th! I know that this season of construction will include inconveniences for our community, and I thank you for your sacrifices while we beautify our sanctuary for the glory of the Risen Lord and the edification of our parish family. Over the next few months during this project, we will have weekend Masses in the hall (set up as a temporary sanctuary), with overflow seating outside. It’s a good idea to arrive early if you hope for indoor seating, and to bring your own chairs, sun protection, and water bottle if you’re sitting outside. Please be considerate of others in our temporary, pared-down space.READ MORE
As we begin our Lenten journey this year, what a great opportunity to resume articles in our bulletin! It is with great joy that we’ll have regular articles in our bulletin with me being a regular contributor (that’s probably the only downside is hearing more from me, lol). This Lent we’re again invited to do some community penance as we now only have half a church! So, as our renovation project progresses, please keep its success in your prayers. Our construction is also a great time to practice patience and charity as there are a lot of moving parts to consider and our indoor seating is limited. One small, penitential act of charity could be made by offering your seat to someone and either standing or sitting outside. This is just one way, let the Holy Spirit guide you!READ MORE
I know many of you are eagerly awaiting an update on the status of our sanctuary renovation project. In my last update (in July via Friday Flocknote video), I shared that we were working through several delays. Many of these same challenges continue, but my team and I are navigating through them. Some of the factors contributing to these delays include fluctuating costs in material production, availability of materials, and construction shortages. Progress is being made—though much of it is behind the scenes—and the project does continue to move forward despite the challenges.
I am happy to share about two recent developments: through the support of generous donors, we have ordered a new tabernacle and a statue of Saint Joseph, which will be part of a new side altar design. (See images below). If you are interested to see the rendering of what the overall sanctuary design will look like, you can visit smarymag.org/renovation or look for the poster in the narthex.
We are currently looking at a post-Christmas start date for actual construction, with anticipated completion by early April. Lord-willing, this will put us worshiping in the renovated sanctuary in time for Holy Week and Easter! During the anticipated three months of construction, we will have daily Mass in the adoration chapel and convert the back half (hall) of the main church into the weekend worship space, along with outdoor overflow as needed. These arrangements will allow us to keep our program offerings as well have sufficient space for daily and weekend Masses.
I want to thank you all for your ongoing prayers and support. I continue to be overwhelmed by the community’s excitement for this project and I intend to start providing monthly updates in the bulletin and/or Friday Flocknote videos. Make sure you subscribe to “St. Mary Magdalene Gilbert” on YouTube and our Friday Flocknotes (text smarymag to the number 84576) so that you don’t miss the updates.
Delays are never easy, but this is a opportunity for us to turn to the Lord, practicing perseverance and trust during what can be an arduous process toward something beautiful. We continue to pray and work so that this renovation phase (and those that come in the future) may progress day by day to successful completion, for the glory of the Risen Lord!
God bless, Fr. Chris
Hello St. Mary Magdalene,
First, I want to say thank you all for your support on this project! This addition to our space is possible because of your prayers, support, gifts, and sacrifices. We are doing something truly beautiful for the Lord and that does present its own challenges. For example, we have hit some delays on our start date due to backlogs in both materials and labor resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. I am working with the construction team to overcome these challenges and, while I cannot give a specific start date, I can say that we are still moving forward. Progress is slow, but contracts are being drawn up and we are exploring what options are available to us.
I want to thank you too for your patience as we move forward slowly. It is frustrating and tedious but progress is happening and I am hoping that we can start within the next few months. Once everything is ready, we will begin construction which itself should take roughly 4 months to complete.
I will continue to update you on the progress as information becomes available.
Fr. Chris Axline