Rebuild His Church Campaign
Rebuild His Church
The Rebuild His Church campaign is a planned, deliberate $3.5 million campaign to address the entire parish’s most critical needs – the Newman Center (Our Lady of Wisdom), Holy Family, St. Ann-Penobscot Nation, and St. Ann-Bradley. The campaign will secure and improve physical structures of worship in the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord, ultimately preserving them for generations to come. Additionally, many of these changes will positively impact the parish operating budget, as they will reduce repairs, maintenance, utility costs, and other direct upkeep.
The Rebuild His Church campaign is an investment in the Catholic Church’s future in central Maine and in the lives of University of Maine students who look to the Newman Center as their spiritual home away from home while on campus. While not an exhaustive list, the Rebuild His Church campaign will meet some of our most urgent needs and halt much of the continued erosion, as outlined below.
Newman Center (Our Lady of Wisdom)
The current Newman Center was designed in the 1960s and is in greatest need of rebuilding. The space now serves as the chapel is significantly out of current accommodation standards, with theatre-seating and descending cement stairs that are dangerous, making it difficult for many to receive communion. This space will be filled in to remove the multi-levels, allowing full access and safer participation by all.
Additionally, the current worship space blends with the kitchen, offices, and social areas as you walk into the center, and the tabernacle is tucked in a small side chapel. The chapel will be enclosed in the new design to serve as the worship space dedicated for Mass and other sacramental purposes. The tabernacle will be front and center in the church, with the sanctuary lamp burning bright to make known Jesus’ presence there and be visible to all who enter.
There will be separate entrances to the chapel and the rest of the center (including study rooms, offices, the kitchen, and a function hall). These important changes in the layout will allow the Newman Center to function beautifully as both a church and a home away from home for students.
With flat roof sections and huge windows, the current building does not withstand Maine weather. Mold issues continually resurface despite remediation. Doors will not open under the weight of snow on the rooftop. With students huddled under blankets during Adoration and Bible studies all winter long, it’s a miracle they keep coming back!
In the new design, the roofline will be changed, creating a slope that will abate the mold and water damage issues that are significant maintenance issues today. The exterior will include weather-appropriate siding and the addition of stained glass windows in the chapel (as pictured to the right). Finally, the current enclosed garden will be reclaimed as interior space for a function hall to accommodate the many gatherings that keep growing larger and larger as our community blossoms.
Holy Family Church
Originally known as St. Joseph Church as established in 1848, with the current building dating to 1903, Holy Family Church continues to serve the Old Town community. Maintenance on the external structure was urgent and began in February 2020. It was already completed.
Specifically, the six buttresses around the church and repointing of the brick exterior needed to be repaired immediately for the walls and roofline to be supported. Go to the blog to see photos of this important project. Additional interior painting is needed to protect the space.
St. Ann Church-Penobscot Nation
Built in 1820 but established in 1688 as St. Ann Church, it is the oldest church in the parish. It is also a registered historic building. As such, addressing maintenance and care must be completed in keeping with its historic designation requirements. It will include: repainting the exterior of the church, replacing worn/rotted trim around the building, rebuilding the chimney, replacing existing Plexiglas, repairing the tin ceiling, and repaving the parking lot.
St. Ann Church-Bradley
Serving the Bradley community since 1935, St. Ann Church needs several maintenance projects, including the removal of all old pavement and re-grading for proper drainage, modifications to the ramp entrance of the church to comply with ADA requirements, replacement of the existing oil storage tanks with one double-wall tank, and replacement of the worn roofs on the winter chapel and rectory garage.