Rebuilding the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples
Many in McCauley have been wondering what’s been going on at Sacred Heart Church since the fire on August 30th, 2020. After an initial clean-up, it was determined that the building would be gutted to remove all the wet plaster to avoid mold. Due to the asbestos content, a crew of 12 worked 10 hours a day, seven days a week for four months. By Christmas of 2020, the interior demolition was complete.
H2 Architecture has created all the necessary drawings to restore the interior of the church. The parish decided this was the opportune time to upgrade the heating system, replace the steep front stairs, fill foundation cracks, and repair the exterior masonry. Clark Builders has begun work and they see completion by late fall of 2022.
Throughout the demolition and rebuilding process the parish has continued offering all its ministries and Sunday services, and expanded its lunch program for the homeless. More volunteers than ever are working in the parish. Because of the pandemic the Sacred Heart has met a growing need for meals in the inner city after many service kitchens closed. Each week 400 to 500 bag lunches are given to the needy.
The parish is excited that in the restored church there will be a tipi in the sanctuary surrounding the altar. The original words of the New Testament describe the incarnation of Jesus in these words: “he pitched his tent among us” (John 1:14). Four natural wood poles about 18 feet in length in the sanctuary will be a striking sign that this is a church of the First Peoples.
At Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, we ardently desire that our restored church building, and our parish community hall, can be a Tent of Meeting for all nations where we can explore what is common to us all, and bring understanding, truth, and reconciliation to the ways we have wounded each other. By doing this we hope to create the promised land right here in McCauley.
For more information and current updates about the rebuild, and to support the parish campaign to improve our building to serve this area for many years to come please visit: sacredpeoples.com/rebuild/. A church rebuild brochure, along with pictures, is available at the parish and can be sent to anyone who requests copies.
Fr. Mark Blom, OMI, is the Associate Pastor of Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples.