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Sacred Heart Ida Grove church nears completion

By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
(Email Renee)

The building project consisting of the new church and hall at Sacred Heart Parish in Ida Grove is nearing its final stages.

Father David Hemann, pastor, explained that while the project is running behind the original October completion timeline, they are pleased with the progress. They hope to have the church finished by the end of November or early December.

“We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

As of early October, there was only a little more of the exterior stone and block to go up, the roof was in the final stages and sheetrock was progressing.

“Kountry Glass out of Albert City has been renovating the windows. Our rose window has already been put up and it is absolutely stunning,” Father Hemann said. “People have said they get goose bumps and even tear up when they look at it.”

He pointed out that all of the stained glass windows, the high altar and Stations of the Cross have already been removed from the present church for restoration before being placed in the new building. Some of the smaller windows from the current church, Father Hemann added, will be even more visible in the new church because they will be on the second level.

“These will be the diamonds in the new setting,” the priest said. “All of these diamonds are being renovated and some will have added sparkle in the new setting.”

The new building also features some new elements such as the Ten Commandment Walk on the pillars that will bring people to the confessional, which will feature a window from Maryhill.

The parish celebrated its final Mass in the current church on Oct. 9 and from now until they are in the new church, Mass will be held in the new parish hall.

The hall will be able to seat about 300-plus and will be equipped with new tables and chairs. Since the old hall was located in the basement, Father Hemann said it was hard for many parishioners to get into. The new hall has no steps.

The new facility will have a hearth room that can be used for mourners or as a bride’s room.

David Forbes, parish director who is a member of the building and finance committees, said not long after they begin to hold Mass in the hall they will tear down the old church in order to get the landscaping done before winter.

Father Hemann said they have new liturgical furniture such as the altar, presider’s chair, ambo and baptismal font coming from the Trappist Monks at New Melleray Abbey, under the direction of Larry Smith who is the main woodworker.

The church will feature new pews and the floor will be stamped and stained concrete, creating a marble look. He noted that they will sell the pews from their current church with parishioners getting the first option to purchase.

Lenee Sinnott, parishioner, said the church thus far has exceeded her expectations and believes the church will be beautiful.

She added that it has been exciting to see the plans and the drawings “coming to life.”

Forbes is also impressed with the new church thus far.

“I think it’ beautiful. It’s incredible,” he said. “The hall is great and the church is awe-inspiring with its Romanesque design.”

Father Hemann pointed out that they will have a back altar, a chapel of sorts behind the high altar in the apse. The left transept will feature white Nativity figures and they are hopeful to buy a pieta in right transept. The back window will feature the Good Shepherd of the ascended Christ.

The pastor said they have had a group of very talented and competent people on the building committee and many great subcommittees.

“With all of the committees and everyone’s input,” Forbes said, “it is neat to see how it is coming together. When things are done by committee, sometimes you wonder at the time if you are getting anything done or are accomplishing anything but it’s really incredible.”

He pointed out that it is a huge project for a parish to build a parish and hall at the same time. With that in mind, he acknowledged that it will take some time to pay for the project. Forbes added, “You don’t pay for a house in five years either. Our parish will have to remain very dedicated to this project and they have been. I am very pleased with it – it was desperately needed.”

Father Hemann commended the architect, Brad Mollet, and called him inspired.

“He doesn’t just put together buildings, he puts together works of art,” he said.

The parish expects to soon announce a date for the dedication and blessing of the church.

“People are just in awe. It’s really the talk of the town,” Father Hemann said. “Some people who were not excited about a new church are now really excited about it.”

As for the pastor, he said he couldn’t be more pleased. He added, “It’s stunning and has such a holy feel.”

CD sales to help build church
Back in June of this year Father Hemann announced that he would give the proceeds of his recently released instrumental CD – Oasis - to help pay for the new church and hall.

Oasis is Father Hemann’s seventh CD that features the instrumental versions of the 10 songs featured on the Psalms of David CD that he released about two years ago.

So far he has raised about $10,000 from this project. The suggested donation for the CD is $20, but larger donations are welcome.

If you wish to purchase a CD, make checks out to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, PO Box 244, Ida Grove, IA 51445. The CD is also available on the web at www. fatherdavid. Net/.


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