Over the past two years, our parish staff, in consultation with the community through town hall meetings and committees, has carried out a thorough evaluation of the physical and spiritual needs of Notre Dame Parish. Our parish continues to evolve and change, and one particular development which has had a substantial impact is the departure of the Dominican Sisters from the convent after so many years. While it was certainly sad to see the sisters go, the empty building offers an exciting possibility: its conversion into a parish center. While many of our groups and programs have had to meet in the rectory basement or the gym, a parish center would provide a dedicated space for offices, youth ministry, social ministry, and our many parish activities.
The parish has been able to take care of many capital needs over these past two years within our budget, however this project requires extraordinary funding. Our last major fundraising effort was over twenty years ago, and gauging the interest of parishioners at our town hall meetings, it seems like our community is ready to embark on this endeavor. Particularly in this difficult time, we will be strengthening our parish to be a beacon not just within our own boundaries, but to the community beyond. Notre Dame will become a center of evangelization and missionary activity in a world longing for the Gospel.
We have also established a secondary challenge goal with the hope of renovating our church sanctuary as well. Again, through our many town hall meetings and opportunities for feedback, parishioners have shown enthusiasm for the idea of restoring elements from the original church, while enhancing the improvements to the church over the past decades. What better way to glorify God than to beautify his home, and what better way to invite others to our faith than by helping them encounter God in the splendor of the church.