Given that last week was the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, it seems appropriate to give you an update on plans to create a master plan for the renovation and care of the church into the future.
Last year, we conducted a parish survey and meeting to learn of your hopes for the parish into the future. In September, we held a meeting of the Liturgy Committee, with a group of parishioners invited to contribute their ideas for a renovated church. We sought to bring together a group small enough to ensure everyone present was heard, while being representative of as much of our diverse community as possible.
The discussion was very enthusiastic and worthwhile. All present were pleased that a well-considered plan for renovation and maintenance of the church was being prepared. There was also a great deal of support for creating a space that embraces the vision set forth in the Second Vatican Council. Suggestions included bringing all people in closer proximity with the altar and ambo, an increased sense of being gathered around the sanctuary, creating a prominent and functional space for baptism, and increasing the unity between music ministers and the rest of the assembly.
Some important matters of preservation were also noted. For example, those present asked that the crucifix not be moved or altered; the reason being that it is the only part of the church that has not been altered since its opening in 1955.
Great progress was made in defining some broad principles upon which any renovation and maintenance plans can be based. The Liturgy Committee is putting the finishing touches on a concept document, which will be presented to our Pastoral Council at its next meeting in February 2009. After it is approved by all stakeholders, it can be presented to the entire parish, and work undertaken on preparing a detailed design brief for architects, designers, artists and other consultants.