From The Rector
Dear Friends in Christ:
Holy Name Heights: new life to a grand heritage
Summer is generally a quiet time in the life of a parish, but even so, many exciting things happening in the life of the Church. A week ago, I attended the grand opening of Holy Name Heights – the former Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, now redeveloped with apartments that utilize the whole building (making it economically viable), and reclaiming the heritage of Holy Name Seminary. The completion of Holy Name Heights is a very positive step for our diocese, but other current projects are even more exciting as they look to the future.
St. Cecilia Church: combining the new and the old
This Sunday afternoon, Bishop Morlino will consecrate a new St. Cecilia Church in Wisconsin Dells. Congratulations to Fr. Eric Sternberg (known to many here from his years as Parochial Vicar at St. Paul’s University Catholic Center) and to the people of St. Cecilia Parish.
The new St. Cecilia has been designed as a new and improved version of the former church, built in 1902. The profile of the new church and bell tower evoke the design of the former building (on the same site). The original stained glass windows have been reused. The statues, Stations of the Cross, altars and other furniture from the old church were also refurbished, upgraded and installed in the new church. Those who have seen it have told me that it is spectacular.
St. Paul’s new church
Closer to home, a new St. Paul’s is being built on the State Street Mall. What can be seen above ground at the moment are the two stairwell/ elevator shafts. With the height of the Great Room at the top of the building, the roof and spire, the building will top out about 50 feet higher than those shafts. The building should open in August 2017.
St. Augustine University Parish expansion
At a recent Presbyteral Council meeting, I was also excited to hear a presentation about plans for new buildings at St. Augustine University Parish at Platteville. That parish has acquired the whole block on which their current facility stands (right across the street from the entrance to the UW-Platteville campus). The plan is to build beautiful apartments sponsored by the parish on most of the block, and thereafter a new chapel and student center where the current facility stands. I encourage you to view the video I saw (St. Augustine University Parish – The Case for a New Newman Center), prominently available on their homepage – pioneercatholic.org.
The Church isn’t the building, for sure. (We know that particularly well, being a Cathedral Parish without a cathedral church!). But the opening, building and planning of these new facilities is a great sign of hope for the future of the Church here in our diocese – especially in regard to those campus facilities in which a new generation of great leaders is being formed. Deo gratias!
Monsignor Kevin Holmes