Awards of Excellence:
Seven Dolors Catholic Parish

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1920 | Year Saved: 2018
Historic Designation: Register of Historic Kansas Places (1995)
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

The weekend of April 14th/15th, 2018 Fr. Kerry gave an update on the Church Renovation Project. If you missed it, here is the update.

“I am here to give an update on our Church Renovation. This process began over three years ago. One of the driving forces behind our renovation is that in less than two years, our church building will be celebrating its 100th birthday. In preparation for that, many of you want to parch up some areas that needed attention, example, the south wall toward the back where plaster has been damaged by rain seeping in. As it often wonderfully happens, one idea led to another.

The goal soon came to be to restore the Church in some respects to its original beauty in many areas where it was deemed liturgically appropriate, which means:

  • repainting the whole inside of the church
  • to make some changes so that the present liturgy could be better celebrated (example: baptisms)
  • to replace our very outdated A/C and heating systems
  • to replace the pews and sound system, as well as the floor
  • to look at the kitchen and bathroom needs.

The Building Renovation Committee has been working on this over the past 18 months. We continued to learn what we already knew: one thing leads to another.

In the end, we have come up with what we very confidently believe is a very good dream. The exciting news isĀ  that we will have a beautiful image or painted icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Seven Dolors placed in the dome above the altar. The less than exciting news, but very good news, is that we have included the remodeling of the basement bathrooms in this project.

Both of these have extended us beyond our original budget. The beautiful rendition of the Seven Dolors added about $70,000, but it would be more than triple that if we did it at a later date, since all the scaffolding and artists would be here to paint the rest of the Church. The bathrooms added another $100,000, but we had much of that torn up already due to the new HVAC system.

In the end, we are looking a $2.2 million. We were originally looking at more like $1.9 million. We know we have added to it, but we have kept the following in mind:

  • Materials will cost much more in future years
  • Since the workers and artists and scaffolding is on hand, now is the time and gathering them in future would cost much more.

Now is the time while we are at it. We will continue our fundraising efforts to try and bridge the gap. If we have not raised enough money to pay for the entire project, we have approval to borrow the remaining amount from the Diocese of Salina. And the rate to borrow from the diocese is only 3.25%.

In the end, thank you one and all! We will be moving on April 30th, and hope to dedicate a beautiful new space in the early fall.

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