Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this feast day of the Epiphany it is with great excitement that I am able to present to you a great gift that is being entrusted to our community. As the wise men came from the east, so also has our gift come, a gift not of Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh, but the gift of a new addition to our church building, what I am calling our ‘Cornerstone Project.’ This Cornerstone Project is a physical addition to our current church building that will wrap around the back and side of the church (parking lot side). This will provide us with extensive new spaces; lobby, washrooms, offices, meeting rooms, student centre, rectory, and includes renovations of ‘old’ spaces such as the church hall and kitchen. Very Exciting Indeed!
I am calling this our ‘Cornerstone Project’ not only because it is built around a corner-stone of our church building, but because it is reminiscent of the scriptures, “…the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118). In the midst of an ever-changing demographic, our community with such a rich history is a complex cornerstone of our community. Where so much has changed around us in 69+ years of parish life, we are poised to be not a stone rejected or lost, but a stone that is the foundation upon which a generation of young people, families, brothers and sisters, will continue to encounter and come to know Jesus. This new cornerstone of our church will allow us to meet the ever-growing needs of our community and will allow us to continue to live as a community of faith at Main and Emerson.
Although many details will be announced over the coming year, I have listed below a few common questions that may be in your hearts and minds as you hear this announcement. Please join me in praying for this project, that through it we may bring many to the love of God that drew those first wise men, has drawn and been alive in our community through the past years, and which continues to draw us each day.
Father Bradley Markus
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How will this project to be financed?
Through the generosity of His Excellency Bishop Crosby the diocese will fund 100 per cent of the project. This gift comes our way because of the parish serving as a home for the university chaplaincy. University ministry has been identified as a priority throughout the diocese. Past projects have been completed in Waterloo and Guelph. Although this project benefits our student ministry, it also deliberately includes in a large way, benefits for our community as a whole (new lobby, offices, hall renovations, and rectory).
What does this mean for our own Capital Campaign?
As announced previously in our finance report 2016, and especially now in response to this great gift, we will have our own opportunity to show continued support for our community through a campaign that is to be initiated in 2018. This local capital campaign is an essential opportunity for us to show our desire to thrive as a cornerstone in our community. In a special way this campaign will honor and support all that has been handed on and shared by generations past and present; how generous you have been! This local campaign will maintain it’s focus on identified projects, such as our new organ, choir loft renovations, bells, and other projects as they develop as we prepare for the campaign. More information will follow.
Who will have access to the new space?
Each part of this cornerstone project and addition adds opportunities to our community of faith. The new and extended side and back lobby will offer the opportunity for us to gather as a community, young and old, to come to know one another, to share time of fellowship, formally and informally. The new office space will include sufficient space for our growing needs; new administration, pastor, chaplain, campus minister offices, new board room and meeting room spaces. We will also benefit from renovations in our parish hall, additional storage space, washrooms, etc. The new student centre will also allow space for the almost daily gatherings that take place with our young people. This new space will facilitate their own particular needs as young people, it will help them to meet the challenges of becoming mature Catholics, ready to be commissioned as the first disciples to go out into the world and share the Good News. Every area of this cornerstone project benefits us as a community of faith. Although there are distinct spaces for particular uses, as a whole this new space will allow us to meet the many growing and changing needs of our community.
How has this project developed?
This project has come about in many ways. First and foremost, through prayer, through conversations within our community and through collaboration with our Bishop, diocese and the other diocesan university chaplaincies and parishes. Although it was not clear at the time, consultation at last year’s ‘one flock, one shepherd, one hour’ sessions was invaluable in understanding where we are at as a community. This, combined with many individual conversations with young and old, contributed to a ‘project proposal’ that was submitted to the diocese in July 2017. This project proposal outlined our parish and chaplaincy histories, the ongoing needs we have as a community, and most importantly the opportunities that lay before us as a community of faith. Ultimately, this proposal was submitted to Bishop Crosby, the diocesan building committee, and was approved to move forward in November 2017. At the direction of the diocesan building committee, a local building committee has been formed for this project, including representatives from different demographics within our community. As we move forward I will be working with our building committee, the diocesan building committee, our Bishop, and with each of you to share progress, receive input, and see this project to completion.
What is the timeline?
The cornerstone project will continue to develop through 2018, with committee meetings, design and approval processes moving forward step by step. Timelines are difficult to nail down but we are looking at a completion date of July 2019.
Will this impact our Sunday liturgies?
Because of the multifaceted nature of this cornerstone project we will have a great deal of exciting activity happening on our property, I’m sure you will be as excited as I am each week to see the progress. Every effort will be made to ensure our normal liturgy schedule is maintained, and I do not foresee any serious hindrances to this. We will provide more information as the cornerstone takes shape.
My great hope as pastor and chaplain is that this cornerstone project will truly be a cornerstone project for each of us as a people of faith, as a community of faith. May this project be the means by which we discover ever anew the true stone rejected by the builders that has become the cornerstone, Jesus. He is the One whom we adore with the wise men on this feast of Epiphany, and to whom we present this and all our gifts, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God.