Archive for December, 2005|Monthly archive page

Building Committee Q & A

This weekend a special insert about Triumph of the Cross parish is included in the Parish Bulletins of the six parishes that will be forming Triumph of the Cross parish. Here’s what’s included in the insert:

Q. What is the Building Committee doing at this point?

A. The Building Committee is now completing a rough draft of its program statement. Beginning after the first of the year we want to get parishioner input on the program statement, interview potential architects, and hire one of them. We hope to have these tasks completed by the end of January.

Q. What is a program statement?

A. A program statement is a written document that lets the architect know what we expect in our new building.

Q. What sort of things are contained in our program statement rough draft?

A. Here are two examples of statements in our rough draft:

  • Our new church shall…”incorporate themes, identity, history and/or objects from the six closed parishes that comprise our new parish.”
  • Our new church shall…”Have a multi-purpose room (at least 1,200 sq. ft.) accessed from the narthex (gathering space) that can be used for server vesting, classroom, vesting for up to 100 standing priests, conference room, meeting room, choir rehearsal room.”

Q. What sort of input will you be looking for from parishioners?

A. Before we write our final draft or tell the artichect to get to work, we hope our parishioners will be able to be a part of the our planning process. There may be people who have some very helpful ideas. For instance, on a practical level, how can we make the following statement a reality: “Incorporate themes, identity, history and/or objects from the six closed parishes that comprise our new parish”? While the parishes have representatives on the Building Committee, those members don’t have a corner on the ideas market.

Q. How will meetings with parishioners be conducted?

A. Fr. McGuire will schedule several different times and places to do the same meeting at a time and place convenient with parishioners. He and a couple of the Building Committee members will review the program statement line-by-line while giving everyone present the opportunity to comment. He has expressed his willingness to speak to anyone about any issue, even the difficult ones. However, in order to accomplish the stated task, the program statement is the only issue to be discussed at this meeting.

Q. How do I proceed if I want to review and comment on the program statement?

A. Please give Fr. McGuire your name, address and phone number by calling 264-6177 or by e-mailing him at frtm@comcast.net. He’ll get you a copy of the rough draft prior to the meeting and ask you which meeting time and place will be convenient for you. The deadline for notifying him is Monday, January 9, 2006.

First Parish Website

The initial website for Triumph of the Cross Parish is now online! As the parish building process continues, we’ll be adding much more information. We invite you to visit often.

The Pastoral Plan: An Opportunity

When the Steubenville Task Force was putting together the Pastoral Plan for the City of Steubenville, we knew that the only part of that plan that many people would look at was the question of the reconfiguration of parishes. That is understandable since that is what most immediately and dramatically would touch most of the people. However, now I am hoping that people, having overcome the initial shock, might go back and read the entire Pastoral Plan (see www.diosteub.org or www.holyrosarysteubenville.org).

One part I hope you go back to is the Vision Statement on page 4. For instance, we said, “As a people who believe in God’s providential love, we choose to see the present moment, not as a harbinger of doom, but as a gift from God, a challenge to be met, an opportunity for renewal, a call to a new way of living as the Church.” We realized that this difficult moment in our history could be seen as tragic or as an opportunity. We chose the latter.

Rev. Timothy P. McGuire

Building Committee’s Work

What is taking so long? Aren’t we ready to break ground? The answer is definitely, no. What the Building Committee is doing right now is one of the most critical pieces of the building process. We are putting a Program Statement (tells an architect/designer what we want) together. Some of the elements we are discussing include the exterior shape of the building, the arrangement of seating, having a choir loft or not, what can be included from the existing churches, sound system, sacristy, narthex-gathering area, etc. A less tangible concern, but even more importantly, we are asking, “What should this building say symbolically about God and the people who worship in it?” Next week we will also be discussing how to include all of you in this discussion. It takes time to do this. On the other hand, we do have a deadline looming. So, we must make haste.

Fr. Timothy McGuire

Fr. McGuire’s Binder #1


We’ve been meeting for several weeks now and are working on the elements of a “Program Statement” which Fr. McGuire wrote about last week. Father is adding notes and other materials to a 3″ binder at each meeting. We’re wondering how many books will be filled by the time Triumph of the Cross opens.

Jim Coyle

The Program Statement

The Triumph of the Cross Building Committee is in the process of writing its Program Statement. The Program Statement is a written text that describes to an architect what we expect to be included in his/her design. Our Program Statement (which is not complete) includes the following:

Our new church must…

1. look like a church.

2. inspire prayer.

3. conform with all current liturgical norms.

4. seat 800 congregants.

5. be a cathedral; i.e., there must be a cathedra (bishop’s chair) and a presidential chair (for a priest in the absence of the bishop).

6. have a tabernacle in the main axis of the nave.

7. have a baptismal font with capacity for adult immersion.

8. include quality art.

9. include, as appropriate, objects from the closing parishes.

We anticipate that the Program Statement, which is not complete, will be very thorough when it is completed. Further, we will ask for input from the parishoners of all six founding parishes before we complete the design process.

Rev. Timothy P. McGuire