Historical Stories 1967 - The Parish Requests to Build a Hall

The growth of the community was already putting a strain on the resources and facilities of the parish.  Only two months after opening the doors to the new grade school in September, Fr. Colman writes to Monsignor Hawkes explaining the situation.

His November 11, 1967, letter read:

“Dear Monsignor Hawkes:

After studying our catechetical needs for some time, I would like to make a request of you, the Archdiocese Board of Consultors and His Eminence Cardinal James Francis McIntyre, D.D.

At the present time, Sts. Simon & Jude parish has 1,850 children in our elementary CCD program – 285 in our High School CCD program, and an average attendance of 300 pre-school children in our Bible-religious study program for 3, 4 and 5-year-old children.  That makes a total of 2,435 in our CCD program.

To facilitate this program, we would like to build a Hall with adjacent rooms to do our part in the catechetical program of the Archdiocese.”  He explained that the total investment in the property, school and equipment was approximately $575,0000.  The present parish debt was $216,000.  “I would expect to continue the debt reduction along with this small building program.”  The expected cost of the Hall was in the neighborhood of $140,000. If permission was received, Fr. Colman planned to make a proposal to the Parish with an expected financial response to cover the expense.

He continued by explaining that the temporary hall in the school would be configured for permanent use as classrooms for the grade school and the CCD programs.  To further his cause, he wrote: “Last year, we rented three public schools every Saturday for CCD.  During the week, we also rented adjacent apartments for CCD.  This year, we are holding CCD five days a week.  Two of the days we have CCD at night in addition to the afternoon sessions.  Using the church for an assembly or large group class (whether for grade school, First Communion, Confirmation, or adult religious education class (and/or meeting) is unworkable.  I wish it were.”    

The original Parish Development Program called for the construction of the hall after the Church was built.  “Now, I would like to slip the Hall in before the Church.  It will not change the time schedule for the Church.  The need for the classrooms (presently used for the temporary Church) for our Catholic grade school will be a must within 3 years at the outside.  But meanwhile, we need the hall with adjacent rooms for CCD classes.”

He closed by saying:

“Monsignor, we are working on a close schedule with respect to the proposition of this Hall.  Your attention to this matter would be appreciated.  I would like to get subliminal efforts operating now preparatory to the push with the people in January.”

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