Restoration continues at Sacred Heart Church in Lawrence
June 10, 2021
One hundred years is a long time in the life of a person, a tree, and even a building. The Landmark in Lawrence has long been the Sacred Heart parish church. The building is closing in on being one hundred years old. The corner stone on the building notes 1924 as the date the church was built.
Necessary repairs and improvements have been made over the years as the structure stood strongly against the wind, rain, snow and time that always comes from the Nebraska environment.
In the relative recent history, the parish first cleaned, repaired and put a protective covering over the stain glass windows in the church.
After that was done, the roof of the structure was stripped down to the wood, the understructure of the roof was completely replaced and the tiles were replaced.
With the hope that the weather elements would now be kept out, work started on the inside of the church. The 'Baptismal Room' in the southwest corner of the building was cleaned and repaired with one wall covered with a life-size painting and a new baptismal font installed.
The south entrance to the church was cleaned, repaired and pictures added. People are now greeted with one wall of the entrance covered with the pictures of former pastors and the other wall covered with a number of historical pictures.
Most recently the Confessional on the west side of the church was rebuilt to make it more handicapped assessable.
This summer of 2021 saw the end of the first effort to repair some of the major damage caused by rain to the inside plaster of the church. Some of the most extensive was partly hidden in the southeast corner of the building above the choir loft. (In case you're wondering, that ceiling is 42 feet above the pews in the church.)
The current plaster work did not include all repair work needed. A very generous donation of $25,000 from an anonymous source did pay for most of this work.
Also this summer, repair work is being completed on the entrance on the northeast side of the church. The stairs up to the church and the platform between the church proper and the sacristy have been replaced to stop water damage in the basement and to give people a safer stairway into the church. This repair work is being paid for from the "Joy of the Gospel" rebates to the parish.
There is a fund set up in the church to accept donations. And, donations have been coming in over time. However, other than the large $25,000 amount noted above, it takes time to accumulate the money needed to tackle the project. Father Harrison noted: "any size donation is gratefully accepted and will be put to good use."