Archive for the ‘Building Committee’ Category

Some Personal Reflections on 2007’s Triumph of the Cross Developments

As summer moved into fall, the Building Committee’s work for a time shifted primarily to the people responsible for sending the bidding documents and details to prospective contractors and then evaluating the bids that were received. These included the architects, construction manager and diocesan facilities director. Other members of the committee expected to continue working on incorporating special elements from the closing churches into Triumph of the Cross church and cathedral. But as reported in our diocesan newspaper, The Steubenville Register, and other local media outlets, after reviewing the results of the fundraising campaign for construction of the new cathedral, the diocesan Finance Council did not give the required approval to proceed with construction. It was determined that because the capital campaign had not raised what had been anticipated, the parish and the diocese would have to borrow too much money for this project. Following the November 16, 2007 announcement, Bishop Conlon formed and is meeting with a consultation committee of some 35 members from the area parishes, pastors and diocese to consider an alternate plan regarding Triumph of the Cross Church and Cathedral. We don’t know what will happen, but the Bishop has said he would like to make his decision relatively soon.

On a personal note, I’d like to share that the past year brought some great high points as well as disapointments as we continued our work on the Building Committee. The committee includes members from all the parishes coming together to form Triumph of the Cross Parish. Throughout our 2+ years of meeting, we acknowledged the sadness and sometimes pain we felt about our parishes closing, but we’ve really been blessed to get to know one another and work together on planning and designing a new church that would truly reflect the faith and community of Catholics in each parish.

We looked forward and had hope for the future. I recall one Sunday several months ago sitting in the front pew during Sunday Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, preparing to show the “Lift High the Cross” video during the capital campaign. The choir sounded magnificant during Mass, and I closed my eyes and visualized this glorious music being sung in the new cathedral, a building whose plans had become more and more detailed. (It was still a couple of months before we’d see the first computer renderings from the architects, but we knew well sketches, drawings and floor plans.) I wish everyone could have had that kind of envisioning the celebration of Mass as I did that Morning.

Even as we were continuing to develop the designs and plans for the new church and cathedral, we could see that financial support of the capital campaign was weak in most of the Steubenville parishes. I think that by not financially supporting this project, many people were expressing their sadness and pain about their parishes being closed. But it was most difficult for me to see and hear the anger being expressed in public. Through frequent letters to the editor in the local newspaper, a number of accusations and allegations were made that were more destructive than constructive. At times language and content of public conversations were extremely negative and inappropriate. Too often words and actions expressed anger and bitterness – and I think were actually often reflecting pain. 

For the Catholic Church in Steubenville, 2007 ended much differently than it started. Divisions are deeper, the future of a church for a new parish is unknown – and our area needs hope and peace more than ever. My prayer as we approach the start of Lent, anticipating Holy Week and Easter, is that each of us – myself certainly included – will turn to God and experience the hope and peace He has for each of us in new and tangible ways. And through that, worship Him in heartfelt unity.

Jim Coyle 


Prayers, Music and Blessing of the Cornerstone

Thursday and Friday, September 13 and 14, 2007, brought special times of prayer and celebration as we move forward toward the building and dedication of Triumph of the Cross Church and Cathedral in Steubenville.

“Triumph of the Cross: A Prayerful Concert Celebration” was held Thursday evening at Holy Name Cathedral. Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, Fr. Tim McGuire, pastor of Triumph of the Cross parish, and Dick Adams, head of the Steubenville Task Force Implementation Team, opened the evening with prayer and Scripture readings.

Dana - September 13, 2007

Music celebrating the sanctity of life, joy and our life together as members of the Church was performed and led first by Irish Catholic recording artist Dana and then Steubenville’s Unity award-winning David Vogel Band.

David Vogel - September 13, 2007

We enjoyed the evening’s heart-felt music and stories about many of the songs.

Triumph of the Cross Cornerstone

September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, is the feast day of Triumph of the Cross parish and cathedral. At 4:00 pm that day, Cardinal Francis Arinze presided at the Blessing of the Cathedral Foundation Stone – the cornerstone – at the site of the new cathedral. His Eminence, a member of the Roman Catholic Curia at the Vatican, is the Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Our Bishop, R. Daniel Conlon, three other bishops and several hundred people gathered from Steubenville and other parts of the Diocese of Steubenville, including people who travelled by bus from Marietta, Ohio. The Scripture readings were about building and the significance of the Cornerstone.

Cardinal Francis Arinze

In his homily, Cardinal Arinze’s spoke about the importance of a church, and especially the cathedral, in the life of Catholics, saying that “the church building is for the gathering of the people of God.”

“There is particular significance of the cathedral of the diocese of the church. The cathedral church of the diocese is the mother of all other churches in a diocese.”  – Cardinal Arinze

He concluded by saying, “A cathedral is not built in a day. But we pray it won’t be too many days before another gathering when we celebrate the dedication of the new church.”

Bishop Conlon Blessing Cornerstone

Bishop Conlon then blessed the Foundation Stone, after which members of parishes that are coming together to form Triumph of the Cross Parish led the people in prayers of Intercession. The service concluded with a blessing by Cardinal Arinze.

Music was provided by the Steubenville Catholic Central High School and the St. John Central High School Marching Bands, the Schola Contorum Franciscana of Franciscan University of Steubenville and Choral Members representing the parishes comprising Triumph of the Cross Parish.

Marking Cathedral Outline and Altar Location

At the site, the outline of the cathedral was marked by stakes and colored tape, with a Cross standing where the main altar will be located.

Building Committee Progress Report and Upcoming Special Events

Although we haven’t been meeting every week because of members’ summer vacations and projects, the Building Committee and the architects continue to develop the detailed plans and documents to bring our new church closer to construction. At our meeting next Monday, we hope to finalize many details about the interior of Triumph of the Cross. Our efforts on behalf of our fellow parishioners are centered on gathering as a living, prayerful community of Catholics to worship and celebrate the Eucharist at Mass and other liturgical celebrations. Although the project has been delayed a bit because of fundraising challenges, we pray and look forward with anticipation to celebrating Mass together in our new church.


Our requests for several zoning variances for the church were granted by the City of Steubenville’s Zoning Appeals Board on July 30. After the Board hearing, a local resident challenged one aspect of the site plan. On August 14, Steubenville City Council Council voted to dismiss the objection to variances granted to the design plans for the proposed Triumph of the Cross Cathedral. All in all, we’re moving ahead well.


Finally, as you’ll see in the next Parish Bulletin, also available online August 19, special celebrations are planned for the evening Vigil of the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross and the day itself – our parish Feast Day. Thursday evening, September 13, a special evening of prayer and song will be presented by Triumph of the Cross Parish. Our special musical guests will be David Vogel and Dana. The next day, the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross, Francis Cardinal Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, will bless the cornerstone for Triumph of the Cross during a special ceremony at the cathedral site. More details will be published in upcoming Parish Bulletins, and we hope you’ll join us for these special events in the history of Triumph of the Cross and the City and the Diocese of Steubenville.

Architects’ Initial Computer Renderings and More in New Gallery on Website

First Computer Rendering from Architects

We’ve been making steady progress on the design specifications for Triumph of the Cross cathedral, even though there hasn’t been much to share here on the blog. And on June 16, 2007, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon was the main celebrant at a special Feast Day Mass at Holy Rosary church, followed by a procession to the nearby site where the cathedral will be built. With several hundred people joining in prayer, Bishop Conlon blessed the site.

As soon as you’ve read this, take a look at our new Online Gallery at the Triumph of the Cross website. You’ll find photos of the site blessing, several new sketches and floor plans, and the first computer renderings from the architects. They look wonderful! The buidling committee will be using computer renderings to help select exterior brick colors and treatment for the cathedral.

Thanks for stopping by here, and check out the Online Gallery and Cathedral Parish Website.

75 Building Committee Meetings

At our last Building Committee meeting, March 26, we estimated that we’ve had 75 meetings since we began in October, 2005. The committee includes priests and parishoners from all six parishes that will form Triumph of the Cross Parish, and we’re dedicated to helping design and build a truly prayerful new church for our parish community, a church that will also serve the diocese of Steubenville as its new cathedral.

Together we’ve studied, talked and prayed together that the Holy Spirit will guide us in serving the Church in Steubenville through our work. While each of us feels loss that our present parishes will be closing, we also look ahead and see such potential for building a new Catholic community and a new “home” for worship. For me, being part of this committee has been a true blessing as I’ve gotten to know people from different parishes and shared their experiences.

As I’m written before, we’ve been meeting regularly – almost weekly – to review and discuss the architects’ plans, take a hard look at projected costs, and “value engineer” virtually every aspect of the project to enable us to cost-effectively build a church that will truly enhance our worship as parishoners of Triumph of the Cross parish and invite all visitors to prayer.

Having spent recent months working on details of the overall design of the church and the site, we’re now starting to discuss interior design details, including more details about incorporating elements from the churches that will be closing. Up to this point, Fr. McGuire, pastor of Triumph of the Cross Parish and head of the Building Committee, has filled two large binders with notes from our meetings and many documents and plans we’ve discussed, and is ready to move on to Binder #3. And he’s got larger plans and drawings in his office.

Fr. McGuire’s Building Committee Notes
Our next meeting is April 9 as we keep working and praying with anticipation that we will have a worship-filled church through which we’ll build a new community of Catholics in Steubenville.

Have a very Blessed Easter!

Jim Coyle


Sound and Worship

One of the articles in the January 26, 2007, issue of The Steubenville Register, our diocesan newspaper, reports on a recent national survey about music and worship. The survey addressed singing by members of the congregation, and included more than a dozen elements related to our singing at Mass and other worshp celebrations.

Along with the many aspects of design, Fr. McGuire and two of us on the Triumph of the Cross Building Committee are working with our architects and an acoustical consulting firm to be sure the acoustics in our new cathedral support and enhance our prayer and worship. As people from the parishes we visited told us, having good sound and a clear sound system is a critical issue.

In the article about the survey, J. Michael McMahon, president of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (the group conducting the survey), when addressing one of the elements affecting congregational singing –  a “church building that makes singing a pleasure” – said:

“These are long range kinds of things, but when you’re building a church one would hope that acoustics would be a major consideration. Sad to say, that’s not taken into account by a lot of people when it comes to building a church.”

For us, the acoustics are a major consideration for Triumph of the Cross and we’re actively including sound in our design plans.

Hear here!

Building on the Past

The latest issue of The Steubenville Register, our diocesan newspaper, includes two items related to Triumph of the Cross cathedral. One is an article by Msgr. John Michael Campbell, pastor of St. Mary Church in Marietta, Ohio, sharing his thoughts about the spirit and the people in the past who have built the diocese, and looks ahead to future generations. As part of his conclusion, he wrote:

I believe that we need Triumph of the Cross Cathedral because the people and priests of the Steubenville Diocese are proud of our past and look to the future. Sixty years ago, Bishop John King Mussio and the pioneers of our diocese brought these 13 counties together and built soething we are all proud of. In those days, there were nay sayers: “We don’t need another diocese in Ohio. They can never get the task done!” They were proved wrong.

I believe that we need Triumph of the Cross Cathedral because in 60 years future generations of Catholics will be thankful to God for our efforts, for the courage we had to step out in faith and build a beautiful cathedral – a living monument of our own faith.

The members of the Building Committee are actively praying and working together to help design and build a cathedral for prayer and worship, serving everyone in the diocese now and in the future.