Maintaining Our Parish | From the Desk of the Pastor | December 2023

Dear Parishioners,

As we come the end of 2023, I felt it would be important to update you on the various maintenance and preservation projects completed in the church and at the North Campus, while also informing you of upcoming repairs to the church that will need to be done in the new year. The upcoming repairs to the church cannot be put off, and stand to cost nearly $200,000.

Recent repairs for the Church

New Carpeting                                                  $37,000
Glass Enclosure – Reconciliation Room  $8,800
New Sacristy Closets                                       $24,000
1st Set of Doors – Repair & Refinish            $18,000
Fixing leaks to the side of the building    $6,000

Recent Repairs for the North Campus

Replace Light Fixtures (Alumni Hall)           $ 2,635
Replace A/C Units (Auditorium)                     $24,000
Replace Light Fixtures (Auditorium)            $7,500
Termite Treatment (Auditorium)                   $4,500
New Roof (St. Bonaventure Building)          $18,900
New Lighting (St. Bonaventure Building)   $3,500
Restoring Electric (St. Bonaventure Building)  $6,500
New Roof (School Building)                              $59,000

The figures you see here do not reflect the day-to-day cost of caring for these two properties. One of our biggest expenses is plumbing. The pipes in the church are old, while at the North Campus, some pipes are broken. Repairs to air conditioning units are also an issue. The Maintenance Committee does have a budget to replace units and there are a few more at the North Campus that will have to be replaced soon.

Upcoming Projects at the Church

Starting early next year, we will address a number of maintenance and preservation projects related to the front of the church, beginning with the cross at the top of the front façade. You may have noticed over the course of the last year or so, that it has begun to lean. At this point, we do not know how stable it is, and if it were to fall, what damage it might cause. It has become a liability that needs to be repaired. The front façade’s rose window, facing Florida Avenue, also must be repaired. Leaks are causing the window to sag and water damage to seep inside the front wall of the church. It will need to be reglazed to prevent the glass from falling out. The contractor will be repointing and resealing the window, and given the scale and need for these two projects, along with the presence of scaffolding to accomplish them, the decision to have the front façade cleaned and repointed has also been made. 

The hope is for each project to be accomplished concurrently, alongside the to restoration of the remaining doorways. As I have mentioned in the past, each set of doors are original to the church, but have been weathered over time. In some areas, sunlight can be seen through cracks in the wood. These projects will be intrusive, with the presence of the scaffolding and temporary plywood coverings for entryways. Those celebrating weddings during the duration of the projects will be informed in advance, as a courtesy, to have time to take photos in front of the church before they begin.

The parish will have to use money from both our operating funds and savings to cover the cost. At our most recent Parish Finance Committee meeting, we discussed a shortfall from our FY23/24 first quarter collections, down ~$18,000 from last year. Positively, Mass attendance for that same period is up by more than 2,000. Our parish is dependent on the stewardship and generosity of its parishioners. The friars and parish leadership would ask that if you are able to make an additional gift to the church, it would go a long way to ensuring the expedient completion of these projects. I would also ask visitors to consider making a gift to Sacred Heart to assist with the repairs. The beauty of our church draws people from all over to pray and celebrate Mass with us. We are only able to maintain the beauty of this historic building with your donations. You can make your gift today at this link.

North Campus Update

The Maintenance and Finance Committees, as well as the Parish Advisory Board are all in agreement on the current direction to renovate the kitchen as the next major project at the North Campus. Most often used by Hands of Hope, which serves the homeless each weekend, we see the renovation as a chance to expand their reach and function, in addition to future use opportunities for wedding receptions and parish dinners. The ball is already rolling, as a firm has been hired to serve as our owner’s representative, tasked with securing the various trades needed to renovate the kitchen. The renovation would require new plumbing and electric. All existing equipment would also need to be replaced. Additionally, since there is no air conditioning in the kitchen, this too would require the installation of a new system. Rough estimates see the renovation costing between $750,000 to $1,000,000 to complete. A fundraiser would be launched to raise the money, but, once completed, the potential for income would help offset maintenance costs, with the auditorium’s potential to host corporate meetings, weddings, and the like given a fully functioning kitchen.

The main school building and Alumni Hall remain in usable condition and can be upgraded in the future, though we must consider bathroom upgrades for the school. We are currently renting the St. Bonaventure building (former Pre-K building, located between the school and cafeteria) to the engineering and planning firms redeveloping Robles Park Village directly to the North Campus’ north and east. Many parishioners regularly contribute to our True North campaign, and some money has already been allocated for this kitchen project to begin, but we are still far from our goal. Any gifts would be greatly appreciated and would quicken our goal for a new kitchen. Those looking to contribute can do so here, by selecting the “True North/Campus” tab.

Peace and All Good,
Fr. Mike