By Tony DeGol
Time can take a toll on church buildings, but thanks to the continued financial support of members of Resurrection Parish in Johnstown, workers are giving the worship space there some much-needed attention.
Paint and decals in the church have been peeling for a while due to age, water damage, and humidity, said Father George Gulash, Pastor of Resurrection.
While the parish is not yet repainting the entire church, crews are using this time when worshippers are not in the pews to repair the worst of the damage.
“When the building is finally open, people will be able to see improvements and hopefully see that these weeks have not been a time of nothingness, but a time of growth,” stressed Father Gulash.
Thankfully, parishioners are continuing their offertory while public Masses are suspended, which made Father Gulash comfortable enough to move forward with the project.
“The people have really stepped up to the plate with this,” he added.
Father Gulash joins many other pastors throughout Altoona-Johnstown in thanking the faithful for their support and asking for their continued generosity.
All Catholics in Altoona-Johnstown have the opportunity to continue their parish offertory by mailing or dropping off envelopes to parish offices or by donating online through the diocese’s giving portal. All online gifts will be credited to the donor’s parish, and the parish will be informed.
“We are doing marvelously well considering that there aren’t any Masses,” noted Father Neil Dadey, Pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in State College. “We put out the plea, and they have come through with flying colors.”
Father Dadey said OLV is using the gifts to help replenish its coffers after a significant building project last summer. The parish added cafeteria, kitchen, and locker room space to Our Lady of Victory Catholic School and made some security upgrades.
Although the parish raised a substantial amount of money for the project, they still had to dip into savings. The generosity of parishioners during this time is helping the parish build up depleted accounts.
“Thank you for your sacrifice, your willingness to support your Church,” Father Dadey said. “I ask God to bless you in the ways you have blessed us.”
After public masses were temporarily suspended and church buildings closed, the Very Reverend Frank Scornaienchi, TOR, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Altoona sent a letter to parishioners asking them to please continue using their envelopes by mailing them or bringing them to the parish office.
“The result of this message was very well received,” he relayed. “They have been very generous. To date our offertory collection is down only two percent from our budgeted amount.”
Contributions to Our Lady of Mount Carmel are being used to keep up with bills and maintain parish facilities, Father Frank added.
“I continue to thank them weekly in the bulletin and also answering the many notes of support that we are getting from our parishioners,” he mentioned. “What has raised the spirit of our members has been the ability to view the weekend Mass on our parish website. I continue to pray for their safety and for all those who have been infected with the virus and their caregivers.”
[Photo: Repair work is happening at Resurrection Parish in Johnstown while the church is not being used. The project is possible thanks to the continued financial support of the parish, despite the suspension of public Masses.]