St. James’ revised plans for a new church at Caswell and Church streets are now available. These are the most detailed plans submitted thus far-- actual dimension rather than mere narrative is supplied for the building itself.
On page 1 of Father Geary’s August 20th letter to the aldermen the new church is called a “cathedral style”. Does a “cathedral style” belong on our small parish campus? Can St. James afford to build a “cathedral style” church? Is a “cathedral style” church necessary for St. James? Should the City of Belvidere allow the massive size of a “cathedral style” church in a residential area?
Father Geary also refers to the new Church as a “traditional church”. That terminology is very interesting. “Traditional” is often use by some priests as pre-Vatican II (1963). Is this the meaning which Father Geary is using? A classic “cathedral style” church has not been built in the diocese since 1960. The recent tradition (last 50 years) is for modern/contemporary churches. The professional staff of Belvidere Planning and Zoning indicated that there was no large organ or artifact that required a church height exceeding the zoning height limits. Aldermen, can you ask the design team the meaning of “traditional church”, Father Geary is on vacation. I suggest that this is an important question. Is this “cathedral style” in keeping with today’s tradition of post-Vatican II Catholic parishes? Please ask the design team to define their terms.
The following information was supplied to the aldermen just before the meeting on August 22 and just became available this morning (August 23, 2011). It and all of the other photocopies are available at :
http://www.boonecountyil.org/sites/default/files/St.%20James%20revised%20submittal.pdf Note the actual dimensions of the “cathedral style” church.
Click on the individual photocopies to enlarge:
Revised Diagram of the New St. James
On-site parking spaces equally the code required 170 will be provided by the new plan. This will be accomplished by demolishing the old church and rectory (see below) and purchasing property adjacent to the school playground/parking lot.
Newly purchased “Bird House” and extra lot re-developed into playground/parking lot
Shadow effects on neighbors on Church Street
Read the summary. It appears that only one hour of direct sunlight will reach the East side of the two homes on Church Street during Winter. There may be a lot of ice on Church Street and on these neighbors’ driveways and walks. Should the city council allow these taxpayers to lose morning Sun because St. James wants to build a “cathedral style” church?