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Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrew 4:16

If you would like to make a donation to the Draw Near project, please visit our Donate page. Thank you!


Update   (6/14/2024)

Framing continues in the back of the church.  The three confessionals will be on the east side, with access from the church.  The men’s bathroom, along with the women’s bathroom behind it, will be where the old vesting sacristy was.  Access will be from the back hallway.  The working sacristy, which will have the altar server vesting area, will be on the west side of the hallway.  The clergy vesting area will be beyond that.
They have started putting up drywall. You can see the three doorways for the confessionals. They have also started to “skim” the walls, making them smoother. The texture of the walls before was a bit like exterior stucco. Now it will have a smoother interior feel and this will help the wall not collect as much dust over time. 
Additionally, they have filled in the wall where the baptismal font used to be.  The ramp into the sanctuary will go alongside that wall.

Update   (6/11/2024)

Our Stations of the Cross, which had been located on three walls, will now only be on the two side walls. Three stations will be on the north side of the emergency doors, and four stations will be on the south side of the emergency doors.
In order to visualize the spacing of the Stations, the construction crew has made mock-ups of each Station, including the overhead lighting for each one.  These mock-ups are for Stations 4 to 7.

Update   (6/8/2024)

These two tracks have been installed in the ceiling.  Acoustic fabric will be attached to these tracks to improve the sound in the church.

Update   (6/4/2024)

Construction has begun on the new choir area in the back of church.  Framing has begun on the risers where the choir will sit.

Update   (6/1/2024)

Fr. Scott wanted to share this email and photo he received yesterday from the pastor of Our Lady of Peace in Greeley,  who took some of our old pews in early April.
Dear Fr. Scott,
I want to thank you and your community for your generosity. Today I was finally able to install the pews that your Parish graciously donated to us.
We are very grateful.
God bless you.
In Christ,
Rev.  Mario Ramírez, S.T.B., Pastor
Our Lady of Peace Parish
Greeley, CO

Update   (5/31/2024)

Fr. Scott’s May status report for us
May was a very productive month in the church renovation. Lots of time has been spent in the basement reinforcing insufficient structural supports which hold up the building. We have made significant progress in framing out everything in the back of the church for the sacristies, the bathrooms, and the confessionals. We have started to do the rough-in of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. And we have very cool styrofoam full-size mock-ups of the new altar and ambo (pulpit) to help us confirm their dimensions and locations. 

Update   (5/29/2024)

Today, Fr. Scott and the remodel team had a “Box Walk”.  This meant walking through the building and confirming the locations of all the electrical BOXES, for light switches, power outlets, and data outlets (internet or phone). It took an hour and a half to get through it all.  Fr. Scott took these photos during the Box Walk.

Update   (5/18/2024)

Another interesting photo of the scaffolding, with an opening into the ceiling.  Framing continues in the back of the church.  Renovation continues on schedule.

Update   (5/14/2024)

Fr. Scott says, “Check out that scaffolding!”
The scaffolding is needed for us to install lighting for the stained glass windows and for the sanctuary.
We’ve included another photo of the  support that needed additional cement brought in last week.  The supports are located behind a wall in the basement choir rehearsal room. As Fr. Scott describes the work: “We have spent the past couple of weeks doing what’s needed to add structural support down there. We needed to do this for the structural integrity of the building.”

Update   (5/10/2024)

The demolition phase of the remodel project is almost complete.  The framing in the back of the church has begun.  There will be new inner vestibule doors leading in to the sanctuary.

Update   (5/8/2024)

Today’s photos show the additional concrete support needed in the crawl space, and the wall being restored in the basement choir room.   The third photo shows the framing materials being stored in the emptied sanctuary.

Update   (5/4/2024)

April’s status report from Fr. Scott Bailey:  “We accomplished a lot in the first month! The focus of the first four weeks was demolition and asbestos remediation. Lots of things went into storage for a while, like the stations of the cross, statues, and altar top. The building needs extra structural support so we have poured the necessary “back-fill” into the crawl space beneath the church. It’s not the most exciting stuff, but it’s foundational for the work we’ll be doing. Thankfully, our Mass attendance has been steady, and we’ve done 3 funerals in the gym and several baptisms. We’re still a busy parish!”

Update   (5/3/2024)

Today’s pictures show that the back of the church has been emptied, and ready for the remodel.  Larger, ADA-compliant bathrooms will be on the left and accessible from the middle. The working and vesting sacristies will be on the right. 

What the back wall will look like.

Update   (5/1/2024)

We are one month in on our Draw Near remodel project! Here’s a look at how we have handled the transition to the Emmaus Center for ALL church and parish functions.
All of our Masses are in the gym.  There are 410 chairs available for parishioners, including some with armrests for those who need support getting up from the chair, and a handful of kneelers.  Our largest Mass in the gym so far had about 360 parishioners, so there is plenty of room for everyone who wants to attend Mass at Risen Christ.  Our 4 p.m. Mass is still livestreamed, and the sound system provides excellent acoustics.
The north half of the parish hall has been set up as our Adoration Chapel.  The tabernacle in the corner allows our EMHCs going to our 14 nursing homes to continue weekly visits.  The parish hall north has a confessional,  and we have the same schedule of confessions as we did in the church.  Our vase of roses for our pregnant mothers is also in the parish hall north.  Baptisms are being held in the parish hall north as well as in the gym.
Parish hall south continues to be utilized for small receptions.  We’ve had Donut Sunday and several funeral receptions in April.  The closet in the corner of the parish hall south is being used as the working sacristy, so that sacristans can set up for our 21 – 22 weekly Masses.  Lectors and EMHCs sign in on the white board hanging in the closet.
Part of the office space has been set up as the vesting sacristy, for clergy to prepare for Mass.
Altar servers dress for Mass in the nursery, which is also used two mornings a week by our exercise group. The closet in the nursery stores boxes and carts for our twice-a-month Food Bank of the Rockies program.  And, the nursery has the only changing table in the building (behind the counter).
The senior room continues to be used for several meetings each week. The daily Rosary prayer group uses the senior room after the 8 a.m. Mass as well.  Our cantors and musicians use the room on weekends to warm-up before each Mass.
Even the kitchen is being utilized for multiple purposes, with our laundry baskets for used altar linens stored on the counter.
With everything going on in the Emmaus Center, be sure to check out the standing signs at the doors, as well as the bulletin board, for upcoming events and their locations!

Update   (4/29/2024)

Fr. Paul and Fr. Scott had a chance to visit the job site.  As you can tell from the photos, the demolition of the altar area is complete (notice that the side pillars are missing!).  The demolition of the back wall is also finished.  Renovation is progressing on schedule!

Update   (4/26/2024)

Renovation continues with the removal of the choir loft.  The two pictures today show the removal of the flooring on the choir loft, as well as the ceiling of the hallway behind the altar backdrop and the working sacristy.  The third photo shows where the choir will be located, in the back of the church.
From Fr. Scott:
The picture that looks like it has a machine in it is the former server sacristy. That is the ventilation system for the asbestos removal.
“It’s weird seeing the back wall without the tiles on it anymore.  We managed to save some of the tiles (maybe 30) and hopefully we can find a way of memorializing them later.”

Update   (4/8/2024)

Fr. Scott had the opportunity to visit inside the church today.  He shared photos he took of the font removal, and the altar top removal (it is being stored for later; it will be the top of a new altar in the Holy Family Chapel).  He also shared a photo of the crew trying to decide how to remove the tabernacle (which will be going to the rectory).

This morning, the baptismal font in front was removed.  This area will become a ramp circling behind the altar backdrop for our visiting priests to use when they serve Mass.

Update   (4/3/2024)

Update   (4/1/2024)

“Well, we’re doing it!”  – Fr. Scott at our daily Masses today
Today was the first day of renovation, and a lot happened!  The digital piano was removed from the choir loft and moved to the gym for our weekend Masses, the organ was carried out of the choir loft (it will be replaced with a new organ), and the pews were removed and send to Our Lady of Peace in Greeley and St Cajetan in Denver.  A fence was installed around the church and some of the parking lot.

Update   (3/22/2024)

For safety reasons, we will not be able have votive candles in the parish hall during the renovation.  We look forward to having two new votive candle stands in the Holy Family Chapel once we return to the church in December.
When we started the Draw Near Campaign last spring, we anticipated a construction cost of $9,000,000. Our goal at that time was to fundraise $8,000,000 and pay for the balance using our reserved funds. Thanks to the stabilization of construction costs in the last several months, we have a finalized budget of $8,100,000, including contingency funds! This is wonderful news!
PEWS: The #2 complaint I hear about our church (after the sound system) is about the pews. The opening in the back of the seat allows things to fall off the seat, like coats or baby bottles. And the kneelers are too close to the pew, making it very difficult to kneel straight-up. So we are getting new pews for our church, and we are donating many of our pews to a growing Hispanic parish in the Archdiocese that cannot afford new pews. The pastor of that community is very excited and grateful to Risen Christ!
TABERNACLE: A generous parishioner has committed to the purchase of a new tabernacle for our church, so that we have a larger tabernacle (which we desperately need!) that is more prominent and celebrates the centrality of the Eucharist. The picture below is similar to what we will get, but the images on ours will highlight Jesus’ resurrection. Our current tabernacle will be used at the rectory.
ALTAR: In order to make the sanctuary ADA accessible, we will lose the base of our current altar. The altar top will be moved to the Holy Family Chapel and the Archbishop will dedicate a new altar for our sanctuary. The image on the front of the altar will be the Victorious Lamb, which is a symbol of the Risen Christ in the book of Revelation – and it’s the image in our top stained glass! Below is a picture of what that carving will look like before it is painted and attached to the front of our altar.
Q: “If the baptism font is being moved to the back of the center aisle, what is happening to the Holy Family Chapel?” 
A: About five times each year we have a very small funeral or a private Mass for just a few people. So we are going to convert our baptistry into a small space where we can have Mass. It will feature:
– The current altar top from our sanctuary
– The newly refurbished St. Joseph statue that is by the men’s restroom
– A new statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
– A second candle stand (one for each statue)
– Chairs for seating, which can be moved into the main body of the church for our larger Masses (like Christmas and Easter)
Whenever parishes do construction, the Archdiocese of Denver requires that baptismal fonts be moved to the back of the center aisle. That location holds symbolic value, because walking into the church past the baptismal font is a reminder that we come into the spiritual life of the Church through baptism. As you can see from the image below, we will be re-using the baptismal font that we currently use in the Holy Family chapel. The cabinet for sacred oils will be in the back wall, near the center double-doors. And in the gray circle on the floor around the baptismal font, there will be these words spoken by the Risen Christ: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). 
Since ADA accessibility is the major goal of our renovation, we need to relocate the music ministry in our church. By placing the music ministry on the main level, it is possible for anyone to participate in that ministry. And by placing music ministry in the back of the church, it will naturally amplify the sound (since sound in our building naturally travels toward the sanctuary). If you would like to support our Draw Near renovation project, please click here to learn more and to make a gift.
(In the picture below, see the new location of our music ministry. This picture also shows sound absorption paneling on the upper portion of the back wall as well as on the ceiling, which will help significantly with the echo and “dead spots” for sound in our church.)
One of the biggest goals of our renovation project is to bring ADA accessibility to the restrooms and confessionals. Ask any parishioner in a wheelchair, and they’ll tell you how terrible it is trying to get to the restrooms. Our current restrooms do not meet code and are too small for ADA standards, so we have to relocate them in order to make them bigger. This portion of the total cost ($8,100,000) is estimated at just under $2,000,000. 
(In picture, see the new location of both restrooms across from the elevator, as well as 3 new larger confessionals)