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One year ago today, on Saturday 15 May 2010, Holy Trinity dedicated our newly remodeled church. The success of this project is due to the vision and wisdom of Father John Hilton.

After the Masses today, we celebrated with the Knights of Columbus the completion of their pledge for the new altar. We thank the Knights for their support and for providing a glorious table for the banquet of our Lord.

During today’s homilies, Father John Hilton announced that he has been reassigned to St. Mary Catholic Church in Aspen, Colorado starting in mid-June. Father Hilton has had only a year to enjoy the beautiful church he helped bring to Holy Trinity. Since St. Mary Catholic was dedicated on 13 March 1892, it might need a creative vision to make sure it is still standing for it’s 125th anniversary in six years.

Here’s what Father Hilton wrote one year ago in the dedication Mass bulletin:


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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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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On 1 October 2008, this blog posted PDF files of the design proposal discussed at the “Thank You” dinner earlier that week. You can find the description and the original images here: https://2008remodel.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/on-line-folder/

Comments are open!

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Tonight, Father Hilton confirmed that the Open House is set for after the Masses on Saturday, 28-NOV and Sunday 29-NOV.

Stand by for more details

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Architect Adam Hermanson shares these design images of the sacramental furnishings.

Main Altar:

Main Altar 112009

Altar of Repose:

Ambo:

Ambo

Baptismal Font:

Baptismal Font

See also:

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HAMLET

How long will a man lie i’ the earth ere he rot?

FIRST CLOWN

I’ faith, if he be not rotten before he die–as we have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce hold the laying in–he will last you some eight year or nine year.

Hamlet | Act 5, Scene 1

Outside of Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic is a church that seems appropriate to contemplate for Hallows Eve, and the Feast of All Souls (Not to mention Noche de Muertos): The Sedlec Ossuary. An ossuary is a place or a receptacle for the bones of the dead. Part of the Cemetery Church of All Souls, this small Roman Catholic chapel is estimated to contain the bones of between 40,000 and 70,000 people buried here since the middle ages.

Sedlec ExteriorThis curious spot exists for very Catholic reasons. Wikipedia provides the details:

Henry, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery in Sedlec, was sent to the Palestine (Holy Land) by King Otakar II of Bohemia in 1278. When he returned, he brought with him a small amount of earth he had removed from Golgotha and sprinkled it over the abbey cemetery. The word of this pious act soon spread and the cemetery in Sedlec became a desirable burial site throughout Central Europe. During the Black Death in the mid 14th century, and after the Hussite Wars in the early 15th century, many thousands of people were buried there and the cemetery had to be greatly enlarged.

Wikipedia: Sedlec Ossuary, Kutna Hora

What makes this even more remarkable is that the custodians of this ossuary have arranged bones to form the decorations and furnishings for the chapel. In 1870, František Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to arrange the bones. His work has resulted in an eerie form of art that reminds us that life on earth is not forever.

The church is not made of bones – it is constructed of stone. The bones form the decorations and details.

sedlec-chandelier

Features include a chandelier hanging in the nave composed of all the bones in the human body several times over, and garlands of skulls draping the vaults. The coat of arms of the local nobility, the Schwartzenbergs, has been created out of bones, and includes a skeletal bird pecking the eye of a skull.

SchwartzenbergSchwartzenberg coat of arms made of bones

Some see the Sedlec Ossuary as a spooky place, but those who have visited describe not as spooky but peaceful. These, the dead, came here because they wanted to be buried in a holy place. Now their bones are part of the chapel.

For more on the Sedlec Ossuary, including some great photos, see these links:

  1. Sacred Destinations on the Sedlec Ossuary:
    http://www.sacred-destinations.com/czech-republic/sedlec-ossuary-kutna-hora.htm
  2. Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora (In Czech):
    http://chrisalida.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/kutna-hora-osuarul-sedlec/
  3. Silver P’s Sedlec Ossuary Galleries (In English):
    http://www.ludd.luth.se/~silver_p/kutna.html
  4. Sedlec Ossuary, the Church of Bones
    http://www.sedlecossuary.com/
  5. 360 degree views of Sedlec Ossuary – Kutna Hora – The Bone Church

Rest in Pieces!

HAMLET

How long will a man lie i’ the earth ere he rot?

FIRST CLOWN

I’ faith, if he be not rotten before he die–as we have many pocky corses now-a-days, that will scarce hold the laying in–he will last you some eight year or nine year.

Hamlet | Act 5, Scene 1

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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. Our architect, Adam Hermanson is a member of the AIA. This issue has a focus on religious architecture. Holy Trinity and Integration Design Group are featured in two articles.


The second article is in the On The Boards section, by author Mary Lou Jay.  Jay highlights four current design projects. Two projects are Catholic churches (us and Holy Name in Steamboat Springs) and two projects are in Westminster (us and Westminster Church of the Nazarene.) The other project is the Boulder Jewish Commons, a future campus development on the east side of Boulder. With our completion date of 2010, the Holy Trinity project is farthest along.

Here is the part of the article referencing the new Holy Trinity remodeling project:


Excerpt: ArchitectColorado, Volume 5, Issue 1, p 45:


Holy Trinity Church
OntheBoards
INTEGRATION DESIGN GROUP,
Architect: Adam Hermanson, AIA
Location: Westminster, Colorado
Client: Holy Trinity Catholic Church/ Archdiocese of Denver
Construction Cost: $2 million
Scope
: 2,000-square-foot narthex addition, new bell tower, entry plaza, addition of clerestory roof and windows and complete interior renovation.
Purpose: Accommodate needs of growing church
Completion: April 2010
As the community of Holy Trinity Catholic Church approaches its 50-year jubilee, it is preparing to expand the church to accommodate a growth in parishioner families. In 1959, when parish members built the current church building, they intended to use it as the church only until a new one could be built. The original building would then become the school gymnasium. The separate church was never built, so for 50 years the parish has continued to use the original building as its worship space.

To raise the stature and nobility of the church, the parish is moving forward with an addition and complete renovation of the building. Integration Design Group has worked with the parish to develop the design over the past several months. The project will include a new prominent entrance into a larger narthex at the west front of the church, surmounted by a cross to be salvaged from the existing steeple; a new choir loft; a new area of raised roof with clerestory windows; a completely remodeled sanctuary; and new liturgical elements and furnishings throughout. The community hopes to include a new bell tower in the project as well. The addition and renovation will encourage a greater sense of the sacred, both on the exterior and interior of the church.

Integration Design Group is providing design services for not only the architectural aspects, but also the complete interior design and finish package; the artwork and furniture design and procurement; and the design of the liturgical elements, including altars, tabernacle canopy, ambo, baptismal font, baldachino and altar rail.


Architect Adam Hermanson is a member of the AIA. 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.

An excerpt from the first article from ArchitectColorado on “A Shared Vision of the Sacred” by Chryss Cada can be found here: ArchitectColorado 1: Holy Trinity’s Adoration Chapel.

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