There is always some fixing going on in old buildings, so I do not like to bore you with all the details. But we have projects that are going on that warrant your knowledge, and may be of interest if you would like to help.
At St Joseph Church we have had water issues in the basement of the rectory and with the cooling system. The awareness of these issues started over a year ago, when the pipes for the upstairs dripped water from condensation and the ceiling in the dining room came down. We cleaned it up and got things working, but the pipes in the ceiling kept dripping. In the meantime, water would get into the Daleiden room in the basement, partly because of water coming into the window well and a little also dripping from the ceiling. This summer we found a mold issue in the rectory, as well as in the sacristy of the church. I started to realize my health was being affected. We hired Restorx to get rid of all of the mold. They got rid of the mold in the wall blower units, but have yet to take care of it in the floors. We hope to have the work in the sacristy done soon and put new carpeting in.
We also got a bid to have a forced air unit put in upstairs in the rectory to eliminate the dripping pipes from upstairs. The forced air unit is completed and there is no more dripping. Now the ceilings can be repaired. To fix water coming in the basement, we put new extensions on the rectory downspouts. DeMeester’s will grade the dirt away from the building to prevent any more water from coming in. It may involve removing the two trees between the fenced-in parking lot and rectory/office building. The roots are pushing on the window wells and allowing the water to drain into the basement.
We also went through the ComEd program through the state and got some new LED lights installed to save money on our electric bills.
There are other projects as well, but these are the main ones we have been dealing with. I mention all of this as an invitation for anyone who would like to help with these projects financially or with any labor on other projects. The St Joseph projects will cost over $40,000. It would be really nice to defer some of these costs and save money.
At St Mary Church we also did the ComEd program and had LED lights installed. There are some technological difficulties in making sure the lights actually turn off automatically. Even when they stay on it is cheaper, but adjustments do need to be made. It is all in the state program to save energy.
You will notice some painting has been going on in the Holy Family Community Center entrance and outside to improve the appearance of the building. We had a leak in the roof at the old convent which got repaired right away. The roof on the church was leaking also, which Freeport Industrial repaired. Thank God for Joseph & Betty Shaw, who left a bequest in their will designated for repairs to St Mary Church. The ceiling in the rectory guest room got damaged by the leaking roof, so that needs to be fixed. The ceiling in the upstairs sacristy came down a while ago and is now in the process of being fixed. We are also looking at two signs at a very low cost – one will go in front of the community center and one will replace the church sign with the Mass times. We are also looking into a new used floor in the gym. Pray that everything can follow through. God’s will be done.
At St Mary Church we have used the balance of the Shaw bequest on many repairs, like the boilers and roof. It would be smart to put some money ahead for repairs in the future. With that in mind, please remember your parish in your will. In a few years we will need a new roof at St Mary Church. While we continue to get rid of the debt, we should still look into the future and do our best to prepare.
Any contributions to see our parishes forward to the next generation would be greatly appreciated. We do what we can to pass on the baton well. When we see our Lord’s face, we look forward once again to our eternal rest in Him. God Bless you all!