By JOANNE FOX
FORT DODGE – While individuals may not have seen many physical changes on the site of the new Holy Trinity Parish, Msgr. Kevin McCoy insisted much progress has been made.
“Holy Trinity Parish was recently granted two variances by the Fort Dodge Board of Adjustment, allowing for the construction of the new church on the St. Edmond (School) campus,” the pastor said. “This development is a result of the design team’s efforts in refining the particulars for our new church building – envisioned in our Living our Faith; Building our Future parish plan.”
According to Jennifer Crimmins, design committee member, it has been important to the design team – and Holy Trinity Parish staff – to incorporate all of the feedback into the design of the church – so it can truly be “our church.”
“Our initial design presented in the capital campaign included a few steps to enter the church,” she said. “We heard very strongly that no steps should be included in the design of the new church to accommodate all of our parishioners. In the revised design, both the front entry and chapel entry of the church will not have steps.”
Crimmins added that the team has looked at the physical layout and how it influences the liturgy, acoustics and the way parishioners experience worship in the new church.
“There has been a lot of thought about the flow of the Mass, our interaction with the priests and the community and how we use our spaces,” she said. “The element of ‘Trinity’ has been used throughout the design.”
Pat Leiting, design team chair, noted the committee has been working to refine and address design attributes that have been offered from parishioners, from tours of other area Catholic churches and meetings with the architects “to incorporate all sources of feedback into the design concepts.”
BVH Architecture of Omaha re-engaged the building committee in May and has met monthly thereafter with the design committee, commenting upon numerous aspects of the site plan and the building design.
“We absolutely rely on feedback from the committee and the community they represent to move the design forward,” said BVH team member Adam Sitzman. “We developed a graphic as a basis of design for us to use throughout the project. The graphic was developed through the direction we were given on day one. This allows us to be reminded of where this project started and what really matters.”
“Ultimately, we look to the single-site church to unify the parish, with one worship site, and one gathering space so we can share our common religious experiences together,” Leiting clarified.
The Sioux City Diocese building committee has also played a role in ensuring liturgical accuracy, Leiting stated.
“They have also provided input into things like space for 24-hour adoration and proximity to the school,” he said. “This is an area I’m particularly excited about. Our kids will be able to attend their weekly in-school Masses in a church to provide the full reverent experience.”
Sitzman felt the liturgy is “the driver” to many of decisions.
“As much as we need to consider support and community spaces, we are constantly reminded of what this building is truly about – celebrating Christ’s love for us,” he said. “With that, we take extra time to assure the liturgical details take a higher priority by studying materiality, views and sight lines, light and sound to name a few.”
Fundraising for the project continues on task, Msgr. McCoy pointed out.
“Of the almost $9.1 million pledged in our capital campaign, our projected cash on hand will be close to $6 million by the end of 2017,” he said. “The parish finance council and the parish foundation are very positive about these results and are now exploring financing opportunities for the building project in conjunction with the Diocese of Sioux City.”
Certainly donations are important to the campaign, but Msgr. McCoy stressed the parish’s stewardship team was working to engage more parishioners in all ministerial aspects of the parish.
“For example, this upcoming Lent will see a roll-out of a Welcome Retreat for men and a similar retreat for women,” he said. “Much of the leadership for this spiritual outreach is coming from a representative population spanning a number of generations; this is a wonderful interface of parishioners living Christ’s call to discipleship.”
The exact timeline for the project is still being developed, Msgr. McCoy admitted.
“The design team has a meeting on Nov. 30, and we are hopeful that we will be closer to define this particular detail,” he said. “Our hope is to have building documents that will allow for bidding from contractors in late winter/early spring. Our goal is that with the construction manager on board, our bids will be within our estimated costs and we can prepare for site work as soon as the weather will allow for the same.”
This effort has kept many folks busy, Msgr. McCoy acknowledged, but what is gratifying is the standing parish and school committees have continued to focus on the parish’s day-to-day needs and concerns.
“For example, our school continues to strengthen our Catholic identity and our enrollment efforts – all the while improving our service and spiritual components through our campus ministry and youth ministry outreach,” he said.