In response to our Pastoral Council Pastoral Plan, we have developed this master plan. It is a compilation of some of the hopes and dreams that were expressed when the parishes were first consolidated, along with the current and future needs for our facilities. We have accomplished the first part of the plan; we consolidated the parishes and built our new church. These benchmarks couldn’t have been accomplished without a lot of hard work and planning by our parishioners. The master plan continues our tradition of innovative planning and is a direct response to the parish and Pastoral Council goals.
The master plan is divided into phases based on project priorities that can be implemented in due course as resources become available. Although there are nine different phases of the overall plan, there is a built in flexibility to intermix phases or change priorities if the opportunity presents itself. If a grant should become available, or if a parishioner donates a directed gift for a particular purpose we could immediately start construction on that project. Priorities could also change based on ease of accomplishment or reductions in cost. For instance there is a possibility that the garage/shop could be built by volunteers reducing the cost and thus moving it up in the priority list.
Phases of Our Plan
- Church Debt Reduction: Reducing the amount of debt on the new church is a priority in that the funds saved on interest charges can be committed to other projects. There is a balance however between paying off the debt, current and future interest rates and not sacrificing our ministries. We completed a capital campaign with the goal of reducing our debt by half. The Follow the Vision Campaign, along with our regular monthly payments, has reduced our total debt to under two million dollars.
- Memorial Garden, Columbarium and Bell Tower: A columbarium is a structure comprised of small vaults (niches) to contain cremation ashes. Cremation is permitted for Catholics as long as it is not chosen in denial of Christian teaching on the Resurrection and the sacredness of the human body. Statistics show that most people and their families prefer a permanent burial place. The columbarium creates a permanent memorial and a way for next-of-kin to be with the deceased. Our master plan includes a memorial garden with a columbarium on the northeast side of the church. The policies and procedures for our Columbarium were written and signed by the Bishop in 2012. Construction of this columbarium and memorial garden started in the spring of 2013. All the niches in the first columbarium are reserved so a second columbarium was add in 2016. A bell tower and prayer labyrinth are also planned for the memorial garden.
- Additional Parking: Our parish is in need of handicapped parking and improved parking around the church. This is a high priority in our master plan. Part of the agreement with the city when we built the church included construction of additional parking on the east side of the church. In 2015, the handicapped lot was added on the east side. There is still room for additional spaces to the east as the need arises.
- Parish Education Center: If the school is moved to the Peter and Paul building, space will be required to accommodate the needs of adult ministries. The new parish education/formation center facility would include classrooms to serve youth and adult religious education. This addition was in the original plan for the church but was dropped because of costs.
- School: One of the goals of the Pastoral Council is to bring the church and school closer together both in spirit and geography. The Peter and Paul facility is structurally sound but needs extensive renovation and additions to house a school. As stated, we are waiting on the diocesan decision for the Great Falls schools before any work begins at Peter and Paul.
- Shop/Garage: Holy Spirit Parish has a small van to facilitate transporting our senior parishioners to and from weekend liturgy. To protect that investment we would like to build a garage for the bus. This building would be about 900 square feet and also provide room enough to act as a maintenance shop and store the grounds-keeping equipment.
- Environmental: Many home owners and business people in our area are turning towards renewable energy to contain expenses and contribute to clean air, water and soil. As environmental stewards, we should also be considering projects such as wind powered electrical generators,solar water heaters, and water wells for irrigation to serve our continuing parish needs.
- Campus Maintenance, Beautification, and Security: This phase is ongoing and includes general planned maintenance of the buildings and campus, as well as improvements and upgrades that may be needed in the future. This could include landscaping, parking lot maintenance, HVAC upgrades, and improvement such as enclosing the entire campus with a rock and wrought iron fence structure.
- Senior Living Space: Phase three involves building a facility on the northeast corner of our property that would house a number of our senior parishioners. This could be apartments, condominiums, perhaps an assisted living facility or a combination of all three. This facility would pay for itself through leases and would be managed by an outside firm.