Story by S.L. Hansen
ROSELAND (SNR) – Last February, parishioners of Sacred Heart in Roseland emptied their church building for a complete interior overhaul.
On Sunday, Aug. 6, they celebrated the completion of most of the scheduled work with their first Mass back in the 1921 Gothic-style church.
“A new altar will be built, but everything else is done,” reported Father Jonathan Haschke, pastor.
Parishioners had begun planning for what they called a “centennial project,” well before Father Haschke arrived as pastor in 2015. More than a decade ago, the parish decided they would like to spruce up the interior prior to the parish centennial. Father Thomas Au was pastor at the time, providing direction for their renovation plans.
The structure itself was sound, but it had been about 50 years since the last renovation, which reflected some of the 1960s’ post-Vatican II trends that were not always ideal.
“The tabernacle had been embedded in the wall a little off to the right, and the priest’s chair was centered,” Father Haschke explained.
Now, those issues have been corrected with the help of architect Kevin Clark of St. Teresa Parish in Lincoln, and Farris Construction.
The pews were not in the best shape, but parishioners didn’t want to lose the lovely and meaningful originals. Thankfully, the pew ends were salvaged, refurbished and fitted with new seats and backs, so they are as good as new.
While the pews were removed, every inch of the interior was repainted with classic colors and motifs. Old carpeting was pulled up, and a new aisle made of porcelain tile was laid by JCO Commercial Flooring.
Up front, marble flooring was laid to host the new altar. Decorative paint and new platforms showcase the parish’s beloved statues of Mary and Joseph. A new sound system and lighting were also installed.
“It’s really nice,” Father Haschke said. “It’s beautiful.”
Best of all, the renovation is fully paid off. Father Thomas Brouillette, the last previous pastor, had started a building campaign to help collect funds for the project.
Thanks to generous parishioners, almost all the necessary funds were collected by the time Father Haschke came to the parish. The rest was made up out of the parish’s general savings.
Father Haschke said parishioners have had very positive things to say about the renovation results.
“People say it just looks beautiful,” he said. “They’ve been waiting for this a long time.”
Related slideshow: Roseland Church renovated