St. John Henry Newman said, “Growth is the only evidence of life. We must grow in order to live.” I am so excited to see Queen of the Holy Rosary Church growing and building for the future. As Archbishop Naumann turned the first shovel of dirt for the groundbreaking of the Fiat Formation Center, my heart was filled with gratitude for all the hard work and sacrifices this parish has made to bring a dream into reality. I look forward to expanding our ministries. I look forward to teaching more adult education on the Bible and the Sacred Tradition of our faith. I look forward to our newly married couples gathering for fellowship and formation. I look forward to giving our ambulatory-challenged parishioners easier access to the parish office and our formation programs. The Fiat Formation Center is not about a building but a wonderful environment for the people of God to gather and experience deeper relationships with God and one another.
Our Catholic Faith teaches us that after death, comes new life. Good Friday leads to Easter Sunday. One of the more painful sacrifices for the Fiat Formation Center was the cutting down of the large silver maple tree in front of the church. We will repurpose the wood via a company called KC Hardwoods. At this very moment, the wood from this tree is being cured. And with this wood, we will repurpose it into five major projects.
We have a parishioner who is a woodworker, who will make crosses, bowls, and other works of art from the wood of the maple.
We will take two cross-sections of the trunk that will show the tree rings. These cross-sections will be cured, stained, and sealed. Engraved into the cross sections will be a history of Queen of the Holy Rosary Church, pointing to the exact ring when these significant historical dates took place. One cross-section will be mounted on the wall in the church vestibule, and the other will be mounted on the wall inside the Fiat Formation Center.
We will also have a large conference table custom-made from the maple tree for our conference meeting room in the Fiat Formation Center.
The archdiocese received an exact copy of Michelangelo’s Pieta statue. Along with this statue came a bust of the Blessed Mother. This beautiful bust was taken directly from a mold made from the original Pieta. When I found out about this, I requested this beautiful work of art for the new Fiat Formation Center. I was so happy when Archbishop Naumann agreed to donate it to our parish. A pillar base will be constructed with the wood of our maple tree, displaying this beautiful work of art in the entryway of the Fiat Formation Center.
And finally, the project I am most excited about is the building of an altar of repose where the tabernacle will be placed so that the Blessed Sacrament will be kept in the center of the sanctuary. This altar will be behind the main altar underneath the crucifix. The wood from our maple tree will be used to make this altar. We are entering year two of the three-year celebration of “Eucharistic Amazement.” It will take some time before the wood is cured and the altar is built. I hope we can have the tabernacle in the center of our sanctuary as a culmination of year three of this celebration of “Eucharistic Amazement”.
As construction gets underway, the construction site will be fenced off. There will be some inconveniences with this, and I ask for your patience. The parish office will remain open but visitors will be asked to park on the driveway of the three-car garage and use the door on the north side of the building, next to the garage. We will also lose access to our ramp at the main entrance to the church. We will have to use the ramp near the Adoration Chapel on the southwest side of the church. We will add handicapped parking at that location. Ushers will also be instructed to open the door for those who need help. We will also have the western entrance off of 71st Street blocked off during construction. New signage and cones will help direct traffic. Drop-off and pick-up for JPII kids will have a new route entering the parish property from 72nd Street and exiting onto 71st Street. More detailed information will be provided by the school.
I love the fact that we are a parish that is on a mission to build the Kingdom of God right here in Overland Park. I want to thank all of you for the sacrifices you have made. I ask you to continue to be generous as we continue to raise money for the project to pay off a future loan. I ask for your patience during construction. And most of all, I ask for your prayers for all the workers and their safety. Pray also for good weather this winter. If all goes well, we hope that the Fiat Formation Center will be dedicated next Easter. That is a goal that is achievable if weather and supply lines go as planned. “Growth is the only evidence of life.” May we grow as a parish of beloved disciples.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. William Bruning