Start date set for Cathedral campus project
Friday, 03 June 2011 09:27
By Coryanne Graham
Diocese of Wichita
Years of planning, countless prayers and the overwhelming support from across our diocese are moving one piece of the TOGETHER vision forward.
The renovation of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and its surrounding buildings will begin on Monday, June 6.
“The happy combination of a low bid and adequate funds on hand will allow us to be responsible stewards and begin this renovation while construction costs are low,” said Bishop Michael O. Jackels. “Thanks be to Jesus, his holy Mother, and to the diocesan faithful.”
Simpson & Associates, of Wichita, was the low bidder for the main campus construction, while Robl Construction, of Wichita, is the general contractor for a priests’ residence at 440 N. Topeka.
“We consider it a huge honor to be able to put our gifts at the service of the Cathedral,” said Bob Simpson, president of the commercial construction firm. “We’re just humble that we’re able to sink our teeth into such a beautiful project.”
The 18-month project will have a total cost of $16.8 million and will revitalize, renovate and update the buildings on our Cathedral campus, which serves thousands through liturgy, formation and social services. The construction will include the main campus construction; a priests’ residence; furnishings, as needed throughout five buildings; decorative painting in the church; sculptures; landscaping and professional fees.
The renovation is expected to be complete in the winter of 2012.
Cathedral parishioners showed an outpouring of support for the renovation with a high percentage of parish families contributing more than $1 million toward the renovation.
“Thus far our diocesan family has generously supported the renovation of our Cathedral campus, seminarian education and Catholic formation programs, with a total of $19.7 million in gifts and pledges to the TOGETHER vision,” said Mike Wescott, Director of Development for the Diocese. “Your prayers and financial support for the future of our Diocese are still needed.”
Wescott says donors can still make a greater impact with their donations through a $500,000 Mabee Foundation Challenge Grant. The Mabee grant will nearly double all donations toward the renovation of St. Joseph Pastoral Center on our Cathedral campus.
Additional funds are also still needed for the education of our seminarians and the formation of children and adults through the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund and the St. Maria De Mattias Endowment.
“Faith formation and the education of seminarians are ongoing needs that we must continue to support.” Bishop Jackels said. “There will never come a time when we no longer need to worry about teaching our faith, and there will never come a time when we have no need to send seminarians off to be formed and educated.”
Bishop Jackels continues visiting each parish to share the TOGETHER vision with every parishioner at each Mass. This weekend he will preside over Masses at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Wichita.
“As I have traveled this past year, I have been humbled and inspired by the support for our Cathedral campus renovation but also through the sense of communion in the Church, our practice of stewardship and the demonstrated importance of educating future priests and promoting faith formation programs,” Bishop Jackels said. “Please continue to pray for the spiritual and material success of the TOGETHER vision.”
Details of what ministries will be housed in the renovated building are online at http://ourwichitacathedral.org.
Daily Mass will be celebrated in the church during the first stage of construction and will move to the social hall once that portion of the renovation is complete.
Throughout construction, portions of our Cathedral Campus will be closed to visitors, but the ministries and services will continue.
The Cathedral Parish office and many of the services of Catholic Charities have already moved to temporary office space. For the latest information on the renovation of our Cathedral campus, visit OurWichitaCathedral.org. The following ministries have been temporarily relocated during construction of our Cathedral campus. (For more information about the renovation, go to OurWichitaCathedral.org.)
• Cathedral Parish Office has moved to 442 N. Emporia. Office hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. Contact: (316) 263-6574 or
• Immigration & Refugee Services will soon move to 532 N. Broadway. Office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday with Walk in Days on Wednesday. Contact: (316) 264-0282
• Catholic Charities’ Food Pantry has moved to 241 N. Indiana. Office Hours: Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Wednesday 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: (316) 262-8898
• Catholic Charities Executive Director, Cynthia Colbert and her assistant Mindy Albrecht, move to the lower level of Sacred Heart Hall at Newman University on June 6-7. Contact: (316) 264-8344, ext. 1271
• Catholic Charities Office of Human Resources moves to lower level of Sacred Heart Hall at Newman University on June 6-7. Contact: (316) 264-8344 ext. 1251
• Catholic Charities Director of Operations, Tonya Knipp, will move to the lower level of Sacred Heart Hall at Newman University. Contact: (316) 264-8344, ext. 1254
• Community Counseling and Adoption Services remain on our Cathedral Campus at 425 N. Topeka. Office hours: Monday - Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Contact: (316) 263-6941
• Foster Grandparents Program staff has moved to the Adult Day Services building at 5920 W. Central Ave. Office hours: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact: (316) 264-8344 ext. 2105
• Diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry staff has moved to 1518 N. Broadway. Office hours: Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact: (316) 269-3919
For the latest information about our Cathedral Campus Renovation, visit www.OurWichitaCathedral.org for videos, construction details, Cathedral history, parking, Mass details, artwork, or making a donation.