BRUNSWICK –– The days leading to Easter are often revered as the holiest days in the Christian faith, a time when having an intact brick-and-mortar church ready to accept parishioners is important.
But the St. Ambrose Catholic Parish is embarking on a construction journey that they believe will end with its congregation uniting in a new space on Easter Sunday, April 21.
The work started in September.
“So we’re actually making good progress,” the Rev. Bob Stec said Friday.
St. Ambrose is 36 years old and there were a number of things that needed to be fixed long before 200 to 300 parishioners showed up just days after Christmas to help take out the pews.
The roof leaked and the church needed electrical work.
When looking into repairs and renovations, church staff looked at the project as a way to upgrade some other aspects of the church that would help parishioners feel more comfortable.
The renovation was funded through donations from parishioners and fundraisers like bingo, fish fries and summer festival. There also have been grants and some state funding.
“Obviously, we are renovating the church and part of that is upgrading, like, all the mechanics. … We expanded the vestibule and created what we call a family room so that moms and dads and their kids can have a good space,” Stec said. “We made sure that the whole space is handicap-accessible so that everyone feels comfortable and everyone feels welcome when they come to God’s house.”
The final steps are being taken to finish the project.
In the sanctuary, the lights have been installed and the pews are being put in.
Stec said the parishioners have been enthusiastic through this process and have really expressed their faith while being displaced during the renovations.
“The last time we were in the church together was on Christmas Day and you can only imagine the enthusiasm and the excitement walking into the renewed church … on Easter Sunday,” Stec said. “That’s just going to be glorious beyond words.”