St. Lawrence rededicates church, blesses new parish hall
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
“Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this solemn rite of dedication let us ask the Lord our God to bless this water, created by his hand,” prayed the bishop. “It is a sign of our repentance and a reminder of our baptism. May the grace of God help us to remain faithful members of his church, open to the Spirit we have received.”
The rededication Mass, held on May 20 the Feast of the Ascension, was the culmination of the two-phases of the Our Second Century Campaign at St. Lawrence Church in Carroll.
Bishop Nickless celebrated the Mass with Father Timothy Schott, pastor at St. Lawrence Parish, concelebrating. Deacon Tim Murphy was on hand to assist during Mass.
“The Lord’s day is a special day for us as Christians,” said the bishop during the homily. “We pray today that we can open our hearts and minds to receive God’s word with faith. Many people have given time, talent and treasure to renovate this church. We give thanks to all of you.”
He asked them to accept his thanks for their generosity and dedication to the effort.
“I want you to join me in a special way to thank your pastor, Father Schott, for his leadership and encouragement,” said Bishop Nickless. “What you have done is done for really only one reason, the greater glory and honor of God who has blessed us in so many ways. Today we have this beautiful church to worship in and enjoy.”
He said the church is a gift. It is a place where people come to listen to the words of God.
“We come here to be nourished in his body and blood in the Eucharist,” said the bishop. “In this holy and sacred place we meet the Lord. We can’t stay here, though, and gaze to the heavens or at the beauty of this church. We have work to do. Go, get busy and proclaim the goodness of the Lord to the ends of the earth.”
Prayers of dedication, blessing
Standing near the altar after the general intercessions, Bishop Nickless offered the Prayer of Dedication.
“Father in heaven, source of holiness and true purpose, it is right that we praise and glorify your name,” said the bishop. “For today we come before you, to dedicate to your lasting service this house of prayer, this temple of worship, this home in which we are nourished by your word and your sacraments. Here is reflected the mystery of your church.”
Following Mass, the bishop, Father Schott and the congregation processed to the new parish hall for a blessing.
“After much work and prayer by so many members of our parish, we gather now to bless and dedicate this new parish hall,” said Bishop Nickless. “It will be a center for our parish activities and a place where we may come to know one another and give witness to our faith in Christ.”
Phase 1 and 2
The first phase of the Our Second Century Campaign at St. Lawrence Church in Carroll was completed last September. This included the addition of a parish hall, family rooms, restrooms, a covered walkway and a narthex to the church.
The name of the parish hall is Collison Hall in honor of Richard and Maxine Collison Family Trust. They gave a major gift to the Second Century Campaign. The parish has already been able to hold functions in the new parish hall.
The second phase of the campaign began on Jan. 2 and was done in time to hold Mass in the church for Easter Sunday. While the church was under construction, the hall was used for Masses.
The interior of the church was refurbished with new paint, new flooring, refinishing all of the woodwork, new sound system, new pews and geothermal heating and air conditioning. The 25 stained glass windows were also restored.
“The whole point of doing this is the honor and glory of God and to provide more spaces for future generations of Catholics here in this parish,” said the pastor. “It is important that they are dedicated to the honor of God for the service of the church.”
He said the parish hall and church are beautiful and the parishioners had been looking forward to getting the spaces dedicated. They waited to have both spaces fully complete before Bishop Nickless came for the dedication.
“It is a great testimony to the faith of the people in this parish,” said Father Schott. “I think we are walking in the footsteps of our ancestors who previously built everything here. We had a growing awareness that we needed more spaces.”
He said a needs assessment of the parish was done, the needs were marketed to the parishioners and the campaign was very successful.
“We have not had to borrow any money,” said the priest. “I think that is testimony to the faith and the stewardship of the people here. I think we are building on the investment of people in future generations. Many people who committed a lot to this project are older people and it is their children and grandchildren who are going to reap a lot of the benefits.”
Bringing the parish together
Phil Phillips, who has been a parishioner at St. Lawrence’s for 20 years, was on the campaign committee and helped raise the money for the redecoration of the church and the new parish hall.
“Matt Greteman, Ron Hannasch and Clayton Broich were here every day,” said Phillips. “Nick Badding, a local guy, oversaw the construction and had bids for different projects. It worked really well.”
Phillips said the final product “almost brings me to tears and I don’t cry easily.”
“It started with just a meeting in the school cafeteria and Father Schott’s leadership,” he said. “His fingerprints are all over this – the beauty and how things coordinate. It has made us all feel like we are part of a family.”
“We visited different places and made sure we had what we wanted,” she said. “It turned out very well. We are very happy with it.”
She also helped with the landscaping. They formed a committee and saved all of the old plants at a local farm. When it was time, they brought them back to the church.
Baumhover’s grandparents were charter members of the parish. She and her whole family were born and raised at St. Lawrence and went to school there.
“I think it is wonderful,” said Baumhover. “It had to be done. It was so much fun. It was a lot of meetings and lot of work, but I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Matt Greteman was one of the point people on the construction side of the parish hall and the rededication of the church. He and his wife Peggy have been parishioners at St. Lawrence since 1992.
“I was here three or four times a day. I got a lot of calls and got a lot of advice,” said Greteman. “I think it (the finished product) is wonderful. The parish center and being able to rehabilitate the church was really rewarding.”
He said that having Bishop Nickless there to rededicate the church “was what was needed to finish the project. It was the culmination of the project. It was nice to have him come back.”
“There were so many people that were involved and many decisions made,” said Greteman. “I don’t know that there is anything that we would change - from the tiles to the walls to the colors to the roof.”
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