Sacred Heart Update: January 16, 2021
16 – Jan – 2021
Most dear parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish,
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on the status of the church thus far. I hope to be able to provide weekly updates, beginning next week, in the bulletin with bullet points on the various activities taking place so that we can all be up to speed at to what is taking place and together with the Rebuilding Committee keep you all abreast of the overall progress of the rebuilding project.
Since my last update on January 3
, the major progress that has been made was the removal of the contents of the Church, both those items that are salvageable and those that are deemed non-salvageable. It does appear at this time that most of the upstairs furnishings (pews, statues, furniture, etc) will need refinished but are salvageable. The vestments and linens have been sent to a specialized cleaning company who deals with removal of smoke and soot, and all the liturgical items have been removed to be cleaned and restored. We called upon the input of several people and we deemed the rest of the smaller items that are cheaper to replace than to restore were fit to be removed.
The inventorying and removal of the contents completed just yesterday and we began the removal of the carpet from the nave of the church. All the salvaged items will be restored and then stored at a secured and temperature-controlled storage facility until the time when we are ready to receive them back into the church. There remain some large items yet to be removed that will be salvaged, such as the crucifix and high altar reredos and the sacristy vesting cabinet which will be removed shortly.
The restoration contractor is awaiting tests to come back on the presence of any hazardous materials in the building before beginning demolition work to some of the interior structure. The floor of the church was significantly damaged in spots and will have to be completely replaced and in other areas we still do not know the extent of the damage as we must demo some walls and ceilings to be able to fully understand the extent of the damage. Therefore, we are still in the investigation stage, but we had to remove the furnishings before we could continue any further.
Several people have asked specific questions about specific items. It is too early to know for certain with specificity answers to most of these questions. The process, to this point, has been very methodical in order to preserve everything that can be preserved and to ensure the safety of those working in the building, as well as to document everything to ensure that we are reimbursed everything we are owed from the insurance company for what was damaged or lost.
Yesterday, we met with representatives from the diocese, the restoration contractor, the insurance company and a design architect firm who will form the construction team for the project. This was a very preliminary meeting and no final decisions have been made about anything, as I mentioned above, we still do not know the extent of the damage or the full scope of what needs to be replaced. I will be working with together with the Rebuilding Committee to seek input and hone in on certain design criteria when the time comes.
We also met with the fire alarm company yesterday and discussed a temporary monitoring service during the construction phase to continue to protect our church and the future design of a new system to be installed in the completed rebuilding. In addition, the church is currently being heated with a temporary heat trailer parked on the South side of the Church and will soon have temporary power fed from a temporary power pole off the west end of the building.
Some have asked about the 2021 giving envelopes and 2020 Year End Statements. These are currently at Sts. Peter and Paul on tables in the back of the Church. If you do not pick them up after this weekend, we will bring them back to Remington and have an evening this week where you can come pick them up at the Fulcher Center.
Lastly, while the fire put a damper on the Christmas Season, I want to extend a thanks to everyone who donated for the Christmas Wishlist, as all of the liturgical items on the list were donated and there were some unspecified costs which will be used to help with some of the rectory furnishings. Thank you all again, and for all who donated, your new items, like most all of our older liturgical items will be restored and returned upon the completion of our rebuilding.
God Bless you all! Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Have Mercy on us!
Father Joshua Bennett
on Saturday, January 16 at 1:51PM