Keeping up with facilities and property maintenance for all eight of our churches is a full-time job. There are consistent little projects being done within our Mary, Mother of the Church Area Catholic Community (ACC).
Deacon Randy Altstadt, Business Administrator of our ACC, is responsible for overseeing many of these projects and is proud of the work that has been accomplished in many of our churches.
Currently, the three largest projects include a sacristy remodel, a sanctuary elevation, and an addition of a narthex.
“St. Ann in Wadena was recently remodeled and is beautiful except for the sacristy,” Deacon Altstadt says. “We are in the midst of changing that and are ready to make the sacristy a sacred place that is better organized.”
The sacristy is the place in which the clergy and altar servers get ready for Mass, as well as where the holy vessels and vestments are stored.
“It is important for the sacristy to be organized because it is where we prepare for Mass,” Deacon Altstadt says.
Amid the physical preparations for Mass, like getting the vessels set, the sacristy is where the priest and altar servers say prayers to prepare themselves spiritually for the Holy Sacrifice.
The hope is to have the sacristy remodeled as soon as the cabinetry is ready.
Additionally, St. John the Baptist in Bluffton has been anticipating renovations for quite some time. The initial project was to install new carpeting throughout the church, but now there are additional plans to make the sanctuary more suitable for the liturgy.
“Knowing that when we change the carpet in the space, we won’t have the opportunity to make any other changes in the space for many years, Fr. Aaron wants to get it right the first time and make necessary changes to transform the sanctuary into a proper place of worship,” Deacon Altstadt says.
The plan is to make the sanctuary a place of beauty and reverence for the Mass as well as having it liturgically correct in its construction before the installation of the carpeting.
This project is still in the early stages as Fr. Aaron works with the diocesan Director of Liturgy to get plans approved.
Finally, the largest project taking place in our ACC is happening at St. Michael in Motley.
“After researching the needs of the parish, it was determined that there needs to be a larger gathering space and increased accessibility for those who are physically handicapped,” Deacon Altstadt says.
To address these needs, a new narthex will be added to the entrance of the church building. This will serve as a gathering space for funerals and weddings. It will also be a great space for people to congregate before and after Mass.
“The architectural drawings have been finalized and we recently hired Becker Construction Inc. to do the job,”
Deacon Altstadt says. “The project is scheduled to start on Sept. 5, 2023, and is to be completed six months later, provided there are no construction delays. In addition, we will be installing a chair lift that will make the whole church handicapped accessible.”
These major projects have been in the works for a long time and it is exciting to report that there is progress being made for each. There is no doubt that the impact of these
projects will be very positive for our ACC!