On Saturday, December 15, Fr. Arnaud Rostand, SSPX US District
Superior and Fr. Gerard Beck gathered the New Immaculata Building
Committee and some parishioners for an update meeting on the new
church project. Fr. Beck opened by affirming the need that
St. Mary’s has for a new church and the support which the
project enjoys from Bishop Bernard Fellay, SSPX Superior General
and Fr. Rostand.
Isaac Moats, Development Director, presented Schwerdt Design
Group’s final conceptual drawings and summarized the monies
raised and spent to date.
Fr. Beck then presented the current financial status of the
Academy and the College and listed some of the major capital
projects which need to be undertaken during the coming school
year. Father stressed the importance of maintaining campus
infrastructure and keeping the schools running while still
budgeting and fundraising for the New Immaculata project.
Fr. Rostand then led a discussion on “the way forward” – balancing
the needs of the schools with the New Immaculata fundraising
campaign. Conclusions drawn:
• In upcoming months, Fr. Beck will begin publishing an occasional
“parish financial snapshot” to allow parishioners to see how
the campus as a whole is faring financially. This snapshot
should allow the entire parish to take ownership of campus
issues, encouraging and engaging the parish in the works of
the SSPX at St. Mary’s.
• Fundraising must continue for the New Immaculata, with the
focus being on support “over and above what is already given
to the schools.” Fr. Beck stressed the importance of transparency
and regular updates regarding progress of the project.
• A general meeting regarding the new church project, open
to the parish, will be held soon as fundraising and space
options are explored.
Fr. Rostand concluded the meeting with his blessing and words
of encouragement for “the great good which is presently being
done in St. Mary’s and which will continue to be done in St.
The September newsletter to Friends and Benefactors is sent
as a color brochure with images of the modified design. Fr.
Fullerton writes: "After nearly a year of careful consideration
and diligent work, I am happy to say that the new design is
nearly complete. In the next few months, once the schematic
design phase is complete, we hope to develop a building plan
that divides the project into phases, allows us to set concrete
fundraising goals, and prepares us to break ground in a few
Cash donations towards the New Immaculata reach $1,295,000.00
Outstanding pledges amount to an additional $450,000.00
Schwerdt presents exterior conceptual views that are
close to complete. The pitch of the roof is changed
to better match the original Immaculata. Work begins
on the interior drawings.
Schwerdt begins presenting their design changes: a single
bell-tower instead of two towers; reducing the interior nave
height from 90 feet to 67 feet; smaller window openings; and
simplified exterior walls, with less niches, angles, and projections
than the previous design. Seating capacity remains
at roughly 1,300.
Fr. Fullerton and David Heit from Schwerdt visit Holy Name
church in Kansas City, Missouri as a possible source of exterior
stone for the New Immaculata, because Holy Name is scheduled
for demolition. In the end, the cost of matching the
small amount of existing stone is deemed too much.
Schwerdt Design Group, an architecture firm in Topeka, Kansas
is hired to make the New Immaculata design fit within our
budget. A simpler, country Gothic style design
is conceived to honor the original Immaculata, complement
campus architecture, and meet the budget requirements.
Fr. Fullerton writes to Friends and Benefactors that, "Due
to the costs involved in resolving (SMAC campus) fire code
issues, our attention over the last year has been focused
on raising funds to complete the required (fire) revisions.
Because of this, little mention has been made about
the new church project..." During this period,
Fr. Fullerton commissions an in-depth cost analysis of
the new church. This analysis determines that the
high Gothic design exceeds our project budget. Another
analysis is done on a country Gothic design, still seating
1,300 - this design fits within our budget. Father concludes
his letter, "Presently we are looking for an architect
in the local area to help with the new design... As always
we thank you for your continued spiritual and material support,
without which we would find it very difficult to continue
the necessary work of Catholic education."
Donations continue to arrive: in 2009, $262,000.00 dollars
in cash and $65,000.00 dollars in pledges are committed to
All preliminary site work is complete. The SMAC grounds
crew has gone to work smoothing and beautifying the site as
we wait for construction plans to be finalized.
7/16/09 The work goes on! At about
noon today, Meier removed the metal tower cap and began the
process of bringing down the bell-tower itself in stages.
For the next couple of weeks, work will focus on cleaning
up the site and moving the wall stones to their storage location
The Immaculata bell-tower is structurally very weak in the
NE corner of the base. Meier is trying to work around this
weakness to bring the tower down in sections rather than all
at once: this has complicated his approach.
Monday morning, Meier has been working at building up the
rock pile his excavator is sitting on so as to safely reach
up to the metal tower cap. He will try to pull the cap today
and then work on the tower bit by bit on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Check back for an update this afternoon.
7/9/09 - Starting on Monday, July 6, Meier
& Co. has taken down the back, side and front walls of the
old Immaculata. Friday morning, the contractor is going to
rig cables to the bell-tower and then at 2:00pm, CST, he is
going to pull the bell-tower down. It will take up to three
weeks to clean up the rest of the site.
7/3/09 - The major work this summer will be
removing the ruins of the old Immaculata and preparing the
site for construction of the new church. Here is the press
release that we sent out to local and national media announcing
the site prep work: Read
11/21/08 - We sent out our first mailing,
telling thousands of faithful across the United States and
Canada about this project. If you would like to receive
the mailing, and did not, please contact us today!
11/19/08 - This website was officially launched!
Please check back often for updates, news, and notes!
Policy | Terms and Conditions