On Nov. 1, Bishop John Noonan blessed and rededicated the Parish Center at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Casselberry, thanks to the Alive in Christ Capital and Endowment Campaign, which made it possible.
The building, which had gone nearly three decades without significant repairs, was overdue for the major renovation that began in 2013 and continued throughout 2014.
The results: new energy efficient windows and flat panel lighting, new carpet and tile, renovated restrooms, roof and ceiling repairs, and improvements to the walls and movable partitions.
Bishop Noonan celebrated Mass for the community prior to the blessing. In his homily, he thanked those who gave of their time, talent and treasure to support the parish and the renovation project.
“Because you love the Lord, you share that love,” Bishop Noonan said. “You have shown how much you love this parish.”
Blessing the entrance to the Parish Center, Bishop Noonan prayed, “May all who come here know the joy and presence of God and grow in His love.”
Following the blessing, parishioners gathered for refreshments in the Parish Center, where many parishioners expressed their surprise at the extent of the transformation.
“I’m so excited. I can’t get over how they transformed it,” said longtime parishioner Mariana Simonelli, who served on the committee that oversaw the building’s original construction. “It’s fantastic. I really didn’t expect this.”
Diocese of Orlando Director of Facilities Patrick Barker, who assisted with the project, commended the parish for its decision to incorporate flat panel LED lighting, a first for a Diocese of Orlando parish.
Barker described the lights, which are dimmable and can be configured in a variety of hues, as a healthier and more cost effective alternative to traditional fluorescent fixtures. He noted that parishes in other dioceses have realized energy savings of up to 75% through the use of LED lighting.
The renovations were funded by the parish’s Alive in Christ Campaign, which began in 2009. Parishioners raised more than $690,000 in cash and pledges to support the effort.
“Today we are joyful. We are thanking God for your gifts to this parish,” Bishop Noonan told parishioners. “When we are open to God’s presence in our lives, it is so much easier to give.”