Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 15, 1999
Ukrainian church gets a scrubbing
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
There was a need to upgrade Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, whose faded exterior paint and crumbling foundation were reflecting its 80 years of battling the harsh prairie winters.
The elderly parishioners wanted to make sure there would be a place for their funerals.
"My mother is 81," said Todd Hannas. "She said 'Fix up the church 'cause when I die I want to have the Mass here.'"
With the recent upgrades, the church will surely hang on for a few more decades.
Renovations for Holy Trinity began in July when the church was hoisted from its foundation. The foundation was on its deathbed, easily diagnosed by the fact that one of the pillars in the church was about five inches lower than the others. A new concrete foundation and supports were put in.
Then the inside of the church got a good scrubbing. Something it hasn't had since it was built more than 80 years ago.
"We had someone come in to clean it in the 1980s, but they didn't finish," said Hannas, president of the parish council. "They did part of it and then realized they couldn't clean it properly."
The church's ample wooden detailing offered hundreds of nooks and crannies for dust to settle and remain undisturbed.
"It was tough," said Brian Hook, of High Clean Industries Inc. who was hired to clean the interior. "There was a lot we had to do."
But with the smell of disinfectant still lingering in the church and the clean blue walls reflecting sunlight in the early morning, Hannas and Hook look at the completed work with satisfaction on their faces.
"It definitely looks cleaner," Hannas said. "It needed this."
But the nearly $100,000 renovation is not quite completed. The church's roof hasn't quite made the critical care list, but is heading in that direction, said Hannas.
The cleaning is done, but the pews have not been put back into place, but Hannas doesn't see an urgency to do so since the church may not reopen until March.
The lack of proper insulation prevents the Divine Liturgy from being celebrated in the church during the winter.
"When it's windy, the church creaks and moans like it has a story to tell," said Hook.
Holy Trinity's story is that it was built with lumber from an old dismantled barn. Its story is that it was hand built and hand painted. Its story is that it has stood almost a century and Hannas hopes it will last at least another 50 years.
"This is a great church," he said. "I've (been a parishioner) here all my life.
"A lot of the parishioners have been here a long time. When they die they want to have their Masses here. . . . I hope it will stay up for another 50 years, maybe I will have my Mass here too."