As Fr. Chas mentioned last week, we continue with our Witness to Hope projects. New windows are currently being installed at St. John Elementary School in the north wing. We are about halfway through the project and look to have all of the windows completed by the end of July. The windows improve the school’s overall appearance and energy use, and the sound reduction is incredible! We also abated two more classrooms with asbestos in the tile flooring.

One of the biggest W2H projects still to come is the interior renovation of St. John Church in terms of plaster repair and a new coat of paint. With this on the horizon, we are in the planning process to understand the overall needs of the church. The Master Plan will be a comprehensive plan that will include the interior renovation of the church but also other recommended projects such as Heritage Hall. Each project within the cohesive plan will complement one another, taking cues from the church design.

When making renovations, you need to understand what you’re dealing with. Part of the Master Plan is to go through historical church archives to know the full scope of the changes in the past. With the church being 165 years old, nobody can really speak to all the changes that were made to the church. So we have to rely on archives, pictures, newspaper clippings, etc., to help us understand the previous renovations. If you have any of these artifacts or any historical knowledge of the church, please let us know. Simply email me at

A sacred architect will be hired to help develop the Master Plan, one that gives an “outline” for many years to come (and beginning with the plaster repair and painting). The knowledge and expertise that this person will bring is invaluable. Many churches have gone through this process with a scared architect on board. Our first candidate, William Heyer, was here last week and provided us with a snapshot of his firm’s talents and obtained information about the church and its needs. He said that our church has good bones, which means it has a sound structure. The sacred architect will provide designs/drawings of our potential changes for the interior restoration of the church. They will also provide the designs and drawings of other potential structural projects that will help our campus serve God’s people for generations to come.

Mr. Andy Johnson, parishioner, has been contracted to help with the research and to put the archives together for the master plan. He will also be working with the sacred architect on the master plan for the renovations and work with the local contractors once projects commence. We are fortunate to have his construction experience guide us through this process.

We are very grateful to have parishioners who pledge or donate to our capital campaign for our capital projects and who support our projects through faithful pledges to W2H. Thank you! Without your generosity, these types of improvements could never be accomplished. In looking back at the history of the parish and seeing what has been done to the interior and exterior of the church, it makes you feel a sense of gratitude for those parishioners who were good stewards with their time, talent, and treasure so that we get to worship in a structure that signifies God’s Holy Presence. We are looking forward to creating our own legacy of changes in the history of the oldest church in the diocese. It’s a place that we can call home.

John Richards

Director of Parish Operations