Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Marlene Quaroni - Florida Catholic
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA | Father Michael Greer, pastor of Assumption Church here, describes the new rectory-office building, which Archbishop Thomas Wenski dedicated Jan. 16, as an inviting place that will attract visiting and retired priests to stay and help at the parish.
“The first floor has a bedroom set up for a handicapped priest with a roll-in shower and safety rails,” he said during a tour of the new two-story building.
Father Greer is the only permanent priest at the church, which is located along A1A. About 600 families attend the church year-round, but in the winter the population increases and Father Greer could use additional help.
“Replacing the old rectory-office building was a good decision,” said Paul Bosley, chair of the finance committee for the new building. “There were many repairs needed to bring the old building up to code. The electrical wires needed replacing, the roof leaked, it had mold and asbestos, it didn’t have adequate space for meetings and wasn’t handicapped accessible. It would have cost nearly $1 million to fix the problems. The new building cost $1.7 million.”
The new, 7,300 square-foot building echoes the Mediterranean style of the church. It has tile and laminate floors downstairs and carpeting upstairs, two bedrooms upstairs in addition to the handicapped bedroom downstairs, a conference room, spacious state-of-the-art offices with faster Internet, security cameras, modern kitchen appliances, a formal dining room, informal breakfast space, large living room, many windows for natural light and a courtyard to connect the priest’s residence to the offices. Provisions were even made for a future elevator, if needed, said Bosley.
Milda Liktorius, church secretary, called the new building a blessing. She recalled an instance when the sister of a bride, who would be serving as maid of honor, couldn’t enter the rectory to help plan her sister’s wedding because she was in a wheelchair.
“We had to go over to the church so that the sister could be in on the arrangements,” said Liktorius.
The new rectory-office building stands on the site of Assumption’s original church, which was built in 1952 as a temporary church-auditorium. It was demolished when a new church was built in 1994.
The old rectory-office building also is set for demolition. A prayer garden is planned for the space between the new building and the parish hall, said Liktorius.
Father Greer said that he was very happy with the new building.
“Thank you to all who contributed in this effort and to the archbishop who encouraged us,” he said.