During Holy Week, Bishop O’Connell made many changes in assignments of our diocesan priests to take effect July 1st. Among these was the appointment of Msgr. Gervasio as his Vicar General, while retaining him as pastor. Moreover, the diocese closed its office for the Haitian Apostolate which had been housed in the former convent at the St. Anthony Campus, transferring full responsibility for the community’s spiritual needs to our parish. This decision involved changing the residence of Fr. Pierre M. Alabre’ who had been ministering to the needs of the Haitian community at St. Anthony Campus from the Cathedral to the Rectory of Our Lady of Sorrows Campus.
On July 1, Fr. Alabre took up residence at Our Lady of Sorrows Rectory to continue his pastoral care of our Haitian parishioners and regular parish duties. The need to create an additional rectory suite prompted the moving of parish offices from the rectory to the basement of Our Lady of Sorrows. A new office center was created in the former music room. This included the installation of “cubicles” for priests and staff, new computers, telephones, ceiling and enhanced lighting. The music room offices were designated as a conference room and file/supply room.
The work continued to enhance Our Lady of Sorrows Church. Through the year, the main entrance to the church was renovated: The interior work included: flooring, painting, ceiling, lighting and woodwork. The exterior included replacement of concrete/brick steps with granite, cleaning the façade, and upgraded landscaping.
The entrance doors were replaced and reconfigured to facilitate funerals and other processions: rather than two sets of doors flanking a central column, the column was removed to incorporate two central doors flanked by side doors. The four doors were made of aluminum and etched glass and each dedicated to an aspect of parish life: Life symbolized by the baptismal shell and water, that is to say sacramental life; Praise symbolized by King David’s harp and musical parchment; that is to say, the worship of God; Community symbolized by the Lord’s image of the vine and branches; and Service symbolized by the bees and their hive. The doors were executed and installed by Baut Studios of Swoyersville, PA and donated by John and Kathleen Evans.
The service kitchen that was in the former sacristy of the “lower church” was remodeled to include: cabinetry, warming tray, sink, microwave and dishwasher, new ceiling and lighting, painting and flooring.
The cost of these projects was paid by income generated by parish investments and this was offset by the introduction of an appeal entitled, “The Summer Project” which ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day.