Historical Stories 1969 - Permission to Build New Church

St_Francis_StatueThe beginning of the New Year in 1969, included two memorable events.  The Statue of St. Francis was installed in front of the School/Church, and the first “Guitar Mass” was held.

On February 24, 1969, Fr. Colman wrote to Monsignor Hawkes regarding a letter he wrote to Cardinal McIntyre in December of the previous year requesting permission to begin plans on a new Church for the Parish.  “The parishioners are more than ready and willing to get moving.  During the last five years (less a few months) the overwhelming majority of our parishioners have been going to Mass in schools.  They are anxious to finance something better.”

A memorandum from Cardinal McIntyre dated March 1, 1969, concerning the parish of Sts. Simon & Jude, summarizes the discussions with a Committee and Fr. Colman regarding a proposal that Mr. Ulysses Bauer be authorized to proceed with plans for a new church on the corner at an estimate of $400,000.00.  In view of the unusually good response of the people financially, the project takes on a different complexion.

Church_Approval_LetterThe next order of business was the purchase of what would become the Friary on Kelvingrove Lane.  The ledger entry describes it as a single-family residence costing $31,450.00.  With this purchase, the Friars would be within easy walking distance to the new school and church.  They had previously lived in a condominium a few miles away.

April 29, 1969, was a day for celebration.  As indicated in this letter, the Board of Consultors gave their approval to build the new church.

The new parish plant continued to grow.  The need for a storage and maintenance building had become a necessity.  A neighbor’s garage and a portion of the old Holly Sugar Factory was currently being used for storage, but neither was adequate nor convenient.  Fr. Colman expressed the various needs for a pre-fab steel building in a letter to Chancellor Hawkes on June 15, 1969.  In the letter he stated:

“I am writing for permission to purchase and erect a pre-fab steel building, 30ft. X 102ft., at a cost for the building laid in and erected of $12,000.00 with basic electrical, plumbing, air ventilators bring the cost to no more than $15,000.00.”  He continues “We will locate it on the north end of adjacent property owned by Mr. Alban Holtz.  We have permission to use this property as our own.  The property will become that of the Archdiocese when the Talbert Water District is closed out.” 

No record was found indicating the Chancellor’s response to Fr. Colman’s request, other than the existence of the building currently used today, and previously occupied by “Moon Mullins,” the Facilities Manager for more than 20 years.

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