From the Pastor
by Fr. Rodney
Raise the Roof Restoration
As you know by now, the church is in dire need of a complete roof restoration; which includes:
- Replacing some of the support beams in the northwest corner of the ceiling
- Tearing off the old asphalt shingles
- Putting on new slate shingles on the church, sanctuary and rectory
- Tearing off and replacing all the gutters
- Tearing off and replacing all of the parapet iron wall caps with copper (essentially replacing all of the metal work up there)
- Installing a new lightning rod system
- Putting up pigeon spikes
- Tearing off and replacing the roofs over the Eucharistic chapel and the elevator
- And some other essential things that need to be done
The cost of the project is $740,000, plus additional costs if they find rotted wood under the existing shingles, which is very likely. So far to date, thanks to your incredible generosity, we have raised just under $500,000, and we have another $90,000 that’s been pledged to come in over the next two years. That means we have to take out a loan for the balance from the archdiocese. So we still welcome contributions. Wouldn’t it be great to not have to make monthly loan payments.
The project is going to start very soon. On Monday, January 22nd, the scaffolding will start to go up. It will cover the west side of the church and rectory (19th Street), the east side of the church, where it will be placed on top of the Eucharistic chapel and part of the north side. Also the entire south side, so down the alley that leads to our little parking lot.
Then on January 29th the actual work will start. Renaissance will be here on campus. When they arrive they will be taking over the back parking lot Monday through Friday. Back there they will be putting dumpsters, supplies, porta pots, something called a “control center” and a lift.
Because it will be an active work site, there will be no access to the back parking lot Monday through Friday starting Monday, January 22nd.
The whole lot will be surrounded by fence. However, on the weekends there will be a very limited number of handicap parking spots.
We will still have use of the federal building parking lots on the weekends, and there will be a gate so you can still walk through and access the elevator and chapel doors; you will not have to walk all the way around. Because of the limited spots in the back parking if you are able bodied, please don’t park there to save spots for people who absolutely need to use the elevator.
The project is estimated to take nearly four months to complete.
Now, with all that said, I want to assure you that St. Mary Magdalene church will still be open this whole time. We will still have all three daily Masses, our Saturday 12:05 Mass and all seven weekend Masses. Our Confessions will go on as well. During the week if you like to come a little early it might be a bit loud, but all work will stop for Mass.
You all know this project has to be done if this building is going to remain standing. So we ask for your patience during these months. They are putting on a “100-year roof,” so a few months of inconvenience will assure that this beautiful old church will be around for another 100 years.
God Bless, Fr. Rodney