Building Committee (Capital Campaign)
Contact: John Wichtrich (919) 270-6464
Letter to Parishioners - March, 2011
1) The John Paul II Family Learning Center
Please view this video showing the current over-crowding at St. Bernadette's parish.
Case Statement for
John Paul II Family Learning Center
"...A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human
beings. You, the peolpe, must gift it this soul." - -Pope John Paul II
“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world
in which we live.” - - Pope John Paul II
From its humble beginnings in 1987 with 25 families, St. Bernadette Catholic Church has grown at a rapid, steady pace. The Church, which serves the Fuquay-Varina/Holly Springs/Harnett County areas currently serves as the spiritual home for almost 2,000 Catholic families. With the rapid growth of the region, it is not unreasonable to project that our Parish can expect to grow to over 2,500 families within the next few years.
This tremendous growth is reflected in the growth of the Catholic Community in the Diocese of Raleigh where the Catholic Population has doubled since 1990 and grown to some 190,000 people. Catholics now comprise 4.6% of the population in an area where Catholics only accounted for less than 1% two generations ago.
We owe a tremendous debt to our founding members of the Parish and our administrators who worked, planned, sacrificed and prayed to build our current facility on land donated by the late Myrtle Hopson. In 2000, when the current Church was dedicated, many wondered how we would fill the existing multi-purpose building and the 598-seat church.
However, the local population grew at a more rapid rate than anyone projected. Our buildings are literally bursting at the seams; visit our Parish any night of the week and you will find nearly every square foot filled beyond capacity. Our elementary Faith Formation classes are held three times per week in “classrooms” devised by setting up movable partitions.
The other nights of the week are filled with our Junior Youth Group, Youth Group and RCIA programs. Our growing music ministry practices several times per week in the sanctuary where there is no privacy and little storage for music and instruments. The kitchen facility is inadequate for social events. Medical and dental clinics for the less privileged would be much more effective with adequate facilities. Our priest and staff offices have literally been carved out of hallways and common areas. Young families with restless children sometimes have difficulty attending services, as room for families with small children is very limited. The Family Life Center would provide them a nurturing place to accommodate the needs of their restless child - allowing the parents to attend Mass without distracting other parishioners.
We have looked at modular structures; the Town will not allow us to add any more units. The movable partitions make for noisy, distracting classroom study. The Atrium program that introduces our pre-school aged children to the basics of our faith has grown to be extremely popular and these classes are full. Our Junior Youth Group and Teen Youth Group juggle available space during their meetings.
Most of us have been blessed to grow up and be properly schooled in the faith of the Catholic Church. St. Bernadette’s relies on a group of talented volunteers to teach our growing population of young Catholic men and women. These volunteers and students rely on the rest of our Parish Family to provide adequate facilities for our future.
What can we, as the Parish Family do? First, we must pray and ask for God’s guidance in spreading His Word. Then we must come together and consider the needs of all of our family. All members of our Parish were invited to participate in the planning process and to share ideas and be heard through a survey distributed to all parishioners. Church ministries were invited to share their needs. The Raleigh Diocese provided input from other parishes that have experienced similar growing pains.
The Holy Spirit has provided the faithful; we must provide the facilities necessary to proclaim the word of our Lord, Jesus Christ to any and all that will listen
BRINGING OUR VISION TO REALITY
After much prayer and hard work, the Expansion Committee has drafted the following plan:
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• A Family Life Center to be built as a multi-purpose facility. This new facility will provide:
• Meeting and classrooms in size and quantity to serve our Faith Formation Program and other faith-based and social programs
• A large, well-equipped kitchen to be used for social events
• Wireless computer access throughout
• A nursery
• A small library
• Office space
• A large open “multi-purpose room” to be used as a combination social hall and, when needed, worship space for Mass.
• A gathering space that will unite all the buildings, both new and old.
It is clear that our existing sanctuary is not adequate to serve our Parish during some of the weekly Masses and on special occasions. Our current social hall is also inadequate to serve the social and educational needs of our Parish Family. After consulting with several architects and engineers, there is no cost-effective way to expand our existing sanctuary to meet our needs for celebration of the Eucharist during these extraordinarily crowded times. We can only expect this overcrowding to worsen as more families move into our area.
In order to avoid the need to build two new facilities (which would be an extreme financial hardship), we believe it makes more sense to focus on a Family Life Center that is flexible enough to meet our existing and future needs on a spiritual, social, and educational level. This transitional approach will allow us to grow as a Parish Family until there are enough members to financially support the cost of a new sanctuary and the re-design of the existing sanctuary. The Last Supper serves as the basis for our current celebration of the Eucharist; Jesus Christ had his Apostles under one roof for this celebration. The Family Life Center will allow our entire Parish Family to worship together while also providing the space necessary for the educational and social ministries of our Parish Family.
How can we best use our existing facilities? What is the best way to meet our requirements within the new financial guidelines of the Diocese? What plan would provide the best facilities serving the most people of our Parish Family? How can we meet the needs of our existing groups and support the growth of our ministries?
Most of all, what can we recommend that will build a stronger foundation for Our Faith, Our Family and Our Future? We pray you will find that the St. Bernadette Family Life Center will provide that foundation.
Social Hall – This space will truly serve our Mission Statement where we have committed to providing a community “where all are welcomed and the ever-expanding needs of our Parish are ministered to by one another”. Just as the current multi-purpose facility is flexible enough to serve many needs, this new space will be used for a variety of purposes. It will be a key component in bringing together different elements of the Parish for social events, banquets, large meetings, special holiday celebrations and overflow worship space. This space will accommodate up to 1,200 people. There will also be vesting rooms and rest rooms adjacent to a stage that will also serve as an altar when a larger worship space is needed.
Meeting Rooms and Classrooms – One of the biggest challenges our Parish Family has faced is providing Faith Formation classes for our children. These rooms will be a blessing for this program with individual classrooms for each grade and for use in the RCIA program, Junior Youth Group and Teen Youth Ministry. In addition, these rooms will be flexible enough so that they can be used as meeting spaces for our other ministries.
Atrium Classrooms – As with all of our religious education programs, the Atrium program is overflowing with students. The proposed plan provides for additional classrooms.
Kitchen – A large, well-equipped kitchen, adjacent to the social hall that will be used for social events.
Storage – There is currently not enough storage to meet the needs of Parish ministries. Storage space is necessary for equipment, supplies and items associated with faith formation and social events in order for the offices and our growing groups of ministries to properly function.
Lounge – A quiet area for meeting and use as a small library/Catholic resource center.
Nursery – A safe, nurturing place to leave a restless child to avoid distracting other parishioners.
Music – A room dedicated to rehearsal space with adequate storage and privacy.
2) Merging with our Existing Facilities
It is important that our Family Life Center is welcoming to all that come to celebrate the presence of God and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. The current proposal allows for a new gathering space that ties the existing facilities with the Family Life Center. This space will also work well if any future expansion of our worship space is needed.
In order to support any expansion of our existing facility, it will be necessary to tap into the Town of Fuquay-Varina water and sewer system. This will require our community to be annexed by the Town.
CAMPAIGN FOR OUR FAITH, OUR FAMILY AND OUR FUTURE
The campaign to support Our Faith, Our Family and Our Future is a tremendous initiative. It comes as result of the growth of our community of the faithful and our desire to support our mission statement showing that all are welcome and that their needs as Catholics will be ministered to.
We have worked very hard and asked for guidance from the Holy Spirit. The plan we are proposing will serve all our Parish Family – young, old; rich, poor; new Catholics, those returning to the Church and all the ministries that support our faith for the future. Our Parish has decided to move forward with this plan that makes the very best use of our current facilities, while building new facilities and looking toward a time where we may serve over 3,000 families. This is a critical project for Our Faith, Our Family and Our Future and it will require extraordinary sacrifice and support from each of us. You are asked to prayerfully consider the best possible commitment you can make to bring this project to fruition.
Not all of us can give the same support. Not all have achieved the same financial success. But we all can - and quite honestly MUST – give in proportion to our means. Many of us have prospered in recent times. We are all called on to support our mission of proclaiming God’s word and we are all called to minister to one another. And we are all called to Christian Stewardship – to return a portion of God’s many blessings back to him in humble service. We need leadership from those most able to support this campaign. We have already received assurances from construction trades who are members of our Parish to provide services at a reduced rate. Pledges can be paid over three years and will enable you to make the best possible contribution that you are able to. It will allow you to stretch, to lead, to be a good steward.
You are called today to be a leader in our campaign. Your support is vital at this time, not just for the gift itself, but to encourage all others to support this effort with the same vigor. You are asked to give at a higher level than ever before. Will you answer God’s call? Will you support Our Faith, Our Family and Our Future?
Resumed our regular Mass Schedule in the new expanded church.
As all have probably noticed – construction of our new and expanded church has begun in earnest. The start-up was delayed due to last minute permitting issues…which, unfortunately, means the completion date has been extended to the middle of November. We will have to move out of the existing church for the last 2 months of construction. During that 2 month period we will celebrate Mass in our Parish Hall – a number of additional Masses will be added to the schedule to facilitate attendance by all. This is an exciting yet challenging time for our parish - your continued prayers and support are very much appreciated.
The final phase of our Expansion Project began on May 4 and completion is scheduled for October 1. Initially, work will be centered around site preparation and getting the ground ready for the footers and pad. This will take about a month as much of the “mechanicals” (HVAC) and electrical are below-ground. Following that, the large beams and ceiling will be installed, then work will begin on erecting the walls. The first three months of construction will be focused on getting the two new “wing” additions ready to be tied into the existing sanctuary. During this same period, modifications will be made to the Chapel entrance so it can be used while the sanctuary and commons area are closed during the months of August and September at which time additional Masses will be added to the schedule - they will be celebrated in our newly modified Parish Hall. Thank you in advance for your patience during this extraordinary time for our Parish.
You will note that some of the parking islands have been removed – this and the construction fence will result in less space being available for parking. If you can’t find space available - please feel free to park on the grass in an orderly fashion (rows).
November 22 is still looking good for the dedication of our new Family Learning Center – please be sure to mark your calendars. Work on the interior of the new building is well underway and all the furniture for the classrooms has been ordered. Funds raised by the Women’s Guild and our Parish Choir have just about covered the total cost of the furniture. Fortunately, thanks to some recent donations of office furniture coupled with what we already have…we won’t have to buy more.
Thanks to the “sweat and equity” of our parishioners, especially Victor Bonilla, Mathew Kromel and Aurelio Barrientos, it now looks like we may be able to save enough money from the construction of our Family Learning Center to make the planned upgrades to our Parish Hall. Our special thanks go out to all those parishioners who have given so generously of their “treasure, time and talent” – it is truly amazing what is being accomplished through their support and efforts.
The Parish Council has reviewed the planned upgrades to our Parish Hall. They include expanding the size of the kitchen, adding a covered area on the West side of the building for the Knights to grill, increasing the capacity of the hall by about 30 percent and, most importantly, installing the larger (and better) bathrooms necessary to obtain the permits required to double the size of the sanctuary. It is anticipated the work on the hall will begin right after the holidays. Between now and then we hope to raise the funds necessary to begin the sanctuary expansion – not only do we need the added space but considerable economies can be garnered by taking advantage of the builders already being on site.
The roof on the Family Learning Center has just about been completed and the brick siding is being installed. Fr. Mark has met with the staff and the use and allocation of the office space has already been agreed to. We now have 4 “sponsors” for classrooms – our Knights of Columbus Council has pledged $25,000 and already made substantial payments towards this commitment. We still have 4 classrooms (two of which are atriums) that are available for sponsorship.
Construction has begun on the Family Learning Center walls. The roof will be covered with wood and shingled to match the Church. A number of parishioners have asked why the roof on the FLC is so high…the Diocese wants all the buildings to blend in to give a sense of “permanence”. Savings being generated by the project work being done by several of our parishioners coupled with other efficiencies has given us the confidence to begin planning for the Parish Hall modifications.
Our John Paul II Family Life Center should be ready by Thanksgiving. It will consist of 6 classrooms, 2 atriums, a conference room, 4 enclosed offices, 4 cubicle offices, a reception area and a medical exam room. An atrium is a room that is permanently set up to allow young children to explore and deepen their understanding of the bible and liturgy. Three parish families have sponsored a classroom (and will choose a saint’s name for the room) – if you know of a person or company that would like to sponsor a classroom with a gift of $25,000 please let us know.
We continue to make good progress with the construction of our John Paul II Family Learning Center. We had a little set back when a major gust of wind knocked down part of the roof when it was being assembled but it is not expected to delay the completion of the project. We are already talking about the furniture and other needs for the interior of the FLC…and how much it will cost! Our special thanks to the Women’s Guild who are helping with the classrooms and the Knights of Columbus who are helping with the office area – their contributions coupled with the funds raised during recent events should allow us to do a more than adequate job of furnishing the facility.
Thanksgiving 2009…the date the builders tell us we will be in the new JPII Family Learning Center! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be in our new, expanded sanctuary by Christmas 2010? It’s entirely possible…if we can raise the funds. Think about it!
Good progress is being made with the construction of the Pope John Paul II Family Learning Center. The pad has been completed, steel has arrived and the builders should soon start erecting the walls to our new building. As a part of the project, the "Memory Garden" (where the St. Bernadette statue use to be) is being modified to include room for more columbariums and a repositioning of the statue.
John Paul II Family Learning Center Groundbreaking & Luncheon Please join us on March 22, for this special event. The ceremony will follow the 11:30 AM mass. The luncheon, hosted and sponsored by our Hispanic Community, will be from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Tickets are $5 per person/$20 (max) per family. We look forward to seeing you there!
Spread the good word, by wearing a t-shirt to support Our Faith, Our Family, Our Future. T-shirts available for purchase. Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus to benefit the Expansion Project. Buy yours today!
Click on link below for
Purchase Our Faith,Our Family,Our Future Merchandise Here
Saint Bernadette Catholic Church Contribution Options
Click her for August 2008 update.
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Click her for January 2009 update.
St. Bernadette Budget 07-08
The CD sale of the choir Christmas music has gone well…so far the choir has raised $3000 towards the goal of $5,000. This money is needed to buy furniture for the Learning Center. If you haven’t already bought one of these great CD’s please consider doing so – the music is wonderful. Click here to view CD insert.
Prayer for the Intercession
Of Pope John Paul II
O Blessed Trinity we thank Thee for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Holy Spirit to shine through him.
Trusting fully in your Infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with You.
Grant us by his intercession and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will be soon numbered among your saints. Amen