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In today’s bulletin, Father Hilton writes:

Does it seem like a long time since we started the renovation of our church? I know that many of us, from the Design Committee to the Finance Council, from our Architect to our dedicated staff, and all those who were involved in the planning and executing this project put forth the best of our efforts and energies. All of us were determined to use our gifts of generosity for the greatest honor of God and to provide future generations of parishioners with a beautiful place in which to worship. We hope that, when you walk into your new church, you will feel that we have achieved our goal, because during all the planning and executing stages we had you, as well as our Lord, in mind.

Traditionally, our Catholic churches have been designed as places of peaceful beauty for two reasons: First, because we instinctively know that God is the Creator of all that is beautiful and, as King David so many centuries ago, we want to honor Him by making for Him a home that is worthy of Him. Second: because when we gather in a beautiful place our minds turn more easily towards God, who is Beauty Himself. Many of our adorers, for instance, tell me that they find rest and gather strength every time they visit the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel: that was our goal, and it has been our goal as we planned, designed and transformed the church. I encourage you to look around, observe all the details, and tell me whether you agree that we have achieved our goal.

You will also notice that we have tried to make the space as comfortable as possible for you: the pews are a little farther apart, so those with long legs will not “bump” in the kneeler behind them. If you pardon me for saying it, I think that the Choir loft not only is beautiful, but it does more justice to the voices of our choir members. How about our confessionals? They are elegant, but more importantly, they will give greater privacy to everyone and the sound-proof wall coverings will make sure that no whisper can be heard outside. We gave special attention to our Marian Chapel, where our beautifully restored statue of the Blessed Virgin finds her home. The raised ceiling, the “clerestory,” with high windows give us more light and greater height. The best part, of course, is our Sanctuary, our new altar area. It is difficult to be distracted during Mass when our eyes are attracted to the exquisite work that required the greatest amount of thought and skill in execution.

Of course, the fact that we now have air conditioning for the Summer will make everyone more comfortable.

I pray that you are thrilled with how our renovated church has turned out. More importantly, I pray that our new church will be a rich source of blessing for you, your children and grandchildren. I again thank you for your generosity and sacrifice, which made all this possible, and I know that those parishioners who will come to the Holy Mass in the future will thank you, just as we thank those who fifty years ago first built the Parish of Holy Trinity that we love. God’s blessings upon you and your family!

Fr. John Hilton and Fr. Carlos Bello

Editor’s note: Click the embedded links for more about Holy Trinity Parish in Westminster and this remodeling project. Thank you to Allan Eckert, Dave Koski and Nancy Thompson for the images.

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Thanks to Allan Eckert for this image.

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The summer 2009 issue of ArchitectColorado includes two features on projects at Holy Trinity. ArchitectColorado is the professional journal of the Colorado Component of the American Institute of Architects. This issue has a focus on religious architecture. Holy Trinity and Integration Design Group are featured in two articles.

The first article is “A Shared Vision of the Sacred” by Chryss Cada. Cada covers three religious projects that involved many different decision makers. Cada starts with this quote:

Any architect who has worked with more than one owner on a project knows how difficult it can be to form a shared vision, so imagine the task when there are several hundred opinions to take into account.

Here is the part of the article referencing Holy Trinity’s Chapel:


Excerpt: Architect Colorado, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 14 – 16:

A Shared Vision
of the Sacred

HOLY TRINITY
ADORATION CHAPEL
Knowledge of a faith’s religious practices is often a major consideration in selection of an architect for a house of worship.Father John Hilton was specifically looking for a “great Catholic architect” for the remodel of the Holy Trinity Adoration Chapel at his Westminster, Colo., church.

“Asking someone who doesn’t go to Mass, who doesn’t worship at a Catholic Church, to design a Catholic chapel would be like asking a Christian to design a mosque,” he said. “The architect needs to be familiar with what the building he designs is going to be used for.”

The contract for the $200,000 remodel of the 1,000-square-foot chapel was awarded to Henderson, Colo.-based  Integration Design Group, PC. This was the firm’s first religious architecture venture.

“It is our hope that religious architecture will remain the central focus of our firm in the years ahead,” said Adam Hermanson, AIA, principal at Integration Design Group. “These buildings carry great significance for those who come to worship within them, and the design of sacred architecture is one way in which we serve both God and God’s people.

Hermanson, the project architect, had worked on several other churches during his design career prior to founding Integration Design Group in 2006.

“A lot of people see only the challenges of religious architecture because the opportunities aren’t as apparent,” Hermanson said. “But growth well done can enhance the spiritual life of a congregation. What we’re actually doing when we work on a church is to help build up the community.”

Hermanson said attendance and membership often increase in a new or remodeled building. That has been the case at the renovated Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity. Built in the 1960s as part of a convent, the chapel was very simple.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church first approached the firm to design a new altar for the exposition and adoration of the Eucharist. The project developed from an altar design into a complete renovation of the chapel.Design elements include a new carved limestone and travertine altar, red onyx niches and a wood and stone altar rail. The finishes were selected to complement two icons in the chapel written by a parishioner trained in the authentic egg tempera method.

“I gave them very general ideas, such as wanting it to be noble, prayerful and exemplify a rich dignified beauty, and he took it from there,” Hilton said. “I was brought in at every stage of the project for back-and-forth discussions.”

Integration Design Group is now the architect for the $2.5 million renovation of Holy Trinity’s main church. A town hall approach is being used to incorporate parishioners’ opinions into the renovation.

“The town hall meetings are very enjoyable because you can feel the excitement in the community as they work together to articulate their vision for their church,” Hermanson said. “There’s no other space besides a family’s home that brings with it such a powerful sense of ownership.”

Architect: INTEGRATION DESIGN GROUP, PC – Adam Hermanson, AIA
Location: Westminster, Colorado
Construction Cost: $190,000.00
Scope: Project included a complete interior renovation including: tile flooring; lighting; finishes; stone altar; stone and wood altar rail; new HVAC system; and new accessible restroom. Exterior modifications included: new roof; accessibility improvements, entrance door and window replacements.
Completion: May 2008

Owner: Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Contractor: RN Fenton Company
Electrical Engineer: Architectural Engineering Design Group, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer: Integrated Mechanical Systems, Inc.

Other Notable Projects by INTEGRATION DESIGN GROUP, PC:

  • Holy Trinity Catholic Church – Addition & Renovation (current) Westminster, Colo.
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church – Liturgical Elements Design (complete) Northglenn, Colo.
  • Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church – New Church (current) (local consulting architect) Windsor, Colo.
  • Fellowship of Catholic University Students – Office Chapel (complete) Northglenn, Colo.

Other buildings featured in this article include the Aish Ahavas Synagogue in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and the Buckley Air Force Base Chapel Center.

The Colorado Component of the American Institute of Architects can be found at www.aiacolorado.org.  Click the link for the order form to order your copy of ArchitectColorado.

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The Ascension

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to [the disciples], was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. (Mark 16 – 19:20)

Stained Glass Window from the Chapel of St. Michael and St. Gabriel (The Adoration Chapel) at Holy Trinity Church in Westminster, Colorado.

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Photograph by Allan Eckert taken 25 October 2006. Click for a larger image.

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