The St. James facilities' renovation was completed in April 2016. The facility updates below are described in reverse chronological order. The capital campaign Come, Live in the Light: Gather, Give, Glorify is still ongoing. Your help toward this campaign is appreciated.
The liturgy of the Rite of Dedication of St. James Church and Altar was held April 24, 2016. It followed the ancient custom of setting aside a building for the permanent use of the people of God in their sacred acts of worship. Bishop Hanefeldt presided at our Eucharistic celebration, which was filled with powerful symbols including a generous use of incense.
In March 2015, bids were opened for the project, under guidance of architect RDg, and the parish is in the process of signing a contract for construction. An update was provided to the parish at that time.
In October 2014, the “Come, Live in the Light: Gather, Give, Glorify” campaign began to raise funding for Phase One.
With input from the Facility Improvement Planning Team and listening sessions and a survey to parishioners, Fr. Hannappel in fall 2014 recommended a plan to the parish council and obtained approval from Bishop Dendinger to proceed with a plan for Phase One at a cost of $2.6 million. Including the $1 million from the Catholic Community of Kearney Campaign, the goal for the capital campaign is $1.6 million for Phase One. Any funds received over the $1.6 million will further enhance the project or be held to invest in Phase Two.
In July 2013 a second phase of the Facilities Improvement Planning Team was convened and tasked to analyze the St. James physical plan and develop a master plan that would identify immediate and future needs of the parish. Members were Rosie Calleroz, Heidi Richter, Anita Huddleston, Randy Kratochvil, Mike O’Neill, Bill Rochford, Mary Sommers, Matt Sommers, Sr. Patty Rinn, Fr. Joe Hannappel, Kelly Bartling and John Lakey. The team agreed to hire a liturgical consultant, Father Frank Coady, to advise the parish on the building’s proper place in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, particularly how it relates to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ recommendations. The text “Built of Living Stones,” and other church documents were consulted. Architects were interviewed and Randy Milbrath with RDg Architecture and Design was hired as architect.
The FIPT conducted listening sessions and extensive discussions among committees focusing on the Liturgy, Church Administration, Parish Life, and Education/Formation, on long-range and short-term improvements and planning to develop a Master Plan for the St. James facilities. A parish-wide survey and input from the committees indicated key areas for improvement and development:
- Need for improved gathering space - enclose courtyard
- Renewal of Worship Space
- More natural light in sanctuary
- Move altar to align with center aisle
- Open part of back wall and place baptismal font in line with altar
- More seating (parish has outgrown space)
- More room for choir/move musicians to worship space
- Accessible seating and ADA restrooms
- Address maintenance issues: boiler and roof
Following a successful community-wide capital campaign in 2008 to raise $5.5 million for a new Prince of Peace and renovated St. James buildings, a St. James Facilities Improvement Planning Team was formed by Father Hannappel in November 2012 to make recommendations to the pastor on how to use the $1 million from the Catholic Community of Kearney Campaign. Members were Bill Rochford, Matt Sommers, Mary Sommers, Chick Messbarger, Judy Messbarger, Mike O’Meara, Mike O’Neill, Ralph Becker, Paul Braden, Judy Drown, Mike Kathol, Randy Kratochvil, Sr. Patty Rinn, Fr. Joe Hannappel and John Lakey. This committee began the process of evaluating the facility and setting an agenda and timeline for proceeding.