In the last two annual parish stewardship reports I have pointed out the need to address the outdoor patio at the west end of the Community Center that has significant problems with pooling water and ice. The water leaks down into the Holy Family Center and is also slowly corroding the stairs coming up from the parking lot. In addition, I noted last year that there is significant shifting of the floor in the Holy Family Center that also needs to be addressed. A ground survey has revealed a significant presence of water below ground at that end of Community Center, which has caused that movement. Therefore, we must address the water intrusions coming from both above and below, and the time has now come to make these necessary repairs for the preservation of our building.
The restoration of the west end also presents a great opportunity to expand the space available to parish ministries and events that will build up our parish community in multiple ways. Over the past years, different groups have been resorting to meeting in the Holy Family Center, and that space is both unpleasant and requires disruption of the parish food outreach programs. There are also different events and programs that are not held at Light of the World because of space requirements. The expanded space will help grow our parish reach in faith formation, community life, and service.
This last March I had planned to present this project to the parish as the Foundation to Serve Initiative. Regrettably, the Covid-19 pandemic descended upon us, with its host of negative impacts, and I had to delay presenting the initiative.
While the pandemic situation is far from resolved, design and planning have continued apace thanks to both our architect and the parishioners involved in the process. We have hit several milestones in the last few months: approval by the parish finance council, initial approvals by the Archdiocese, amended site plan with Jefferson County, and finalized design and construction drawings.
Beginning in June 2020, I presented the details of the Foundation to Serve Initiative and I continue to provide periodic updates at the weekend Masses. Yes, people have seen many things thrown into turmoil and doubt in the last few months. There have been real losses in some people’s lives. But the Lord is with us and remains faithful. I hope you will find the initiative compelling and worthy of your support.
This initiative will restore the West End of the building by preventing further water damage to the Holy Family Center and improving the foundation.
With each passing year, the impact of poor drainage on the West End of our church property becomes worse and puts more stress on the structure and foundation. It only takes a quick visit to see the buckling floor in the Food Pantry and the water pooling on the patio. One of the primary purposes of this project is to address ongoing drainage issues and restore the foundation for both safety and more usable space.
The project will also add much needed meeting and program space to build our community.
In 2019, alone, LOTW hosted 1,334 events including faith formation classes for children, youth and adults, retreats, ministry meetings, parish meals and more. Still, even more requests were made that could not be accommodated. One of the biggest benefits of this project is the addition of a partition able meeting space that will allow us to build our community and accommodate more ministries.
Finally, the restored and new space will allow us to grow our reach to serve through ministries and the food pantry.
An important part of this initiative is growing our reach in the community. Our Food Pantry continues to serve 4-6 new families each week. Combined with the BakPak program and seasonal drives throughout the year, these resources are vital for families and individuals throughout the community.