$25,000 raised toward restoration of historic St. Vincent de Paul Church
Photo Gallery | St. Vincent de Paul Church
LENOX — A capital campaign to restore the exterior of the historic St. Vincent de Paul Church in the village of Lenox Dale has raised $25,000 toward its $98,000 goal.
Work is now ongoing to replace cedar shakes on the front of the 1904 church, said the Rev. Christopher J. Waitekus, known as "Father CJ." Many of them are original to the building, he added.
One side of the church has been completed, and the other side, which he described as being in most need of repair, is next and will complete the restoration, financed through a low-interest loan from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.
Letters went out recently to the 100 families registered as members of St. Vincent de Paul, seeking contributions to the three-year capital campaign that began in September. The goal is to repay the loan as quickly as possible, Waitekus stated.
"Friends of the Dale are also invited to make a gift," said Waitekus, who pointed out that the church is an independent parish with its own council and financial structure.
"All they share is me," he said. "It's an intimate setting in a community that's throwback to the Norman Rockwell era. The church members are a small family and they look out for each other."
The cedar shakes ordered for the project are a pre-painted, manmade, more durable version of cedar shingles, he said.
The exterior of the rectory was also recently renovated. Still to come is restoration of the two church steeples, a separate project.
The traditional Saturday evening service often attracts members of neighboring churches who find the timing more convenient, Waitekus pointed out.
Waitekus also presides over St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church in Lenox and St. Patrick's Church in West Stockbridge. Last summer, he was named as one of three vicars assisting the Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, bishop of the Diocese of Springfield.
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