There are some bonds in life that never can be broken. Life bonds that transcend time and space…
Early 2000 – The Baptismal Font
It was around the time when Father Wallace Metcalf was Pastor here at Regina Mundi Parish. A man came to the Rectory door wanting to see the Church and say a prayer. Seeing no harm in the request, he was let into the building. The man entered the Church through the Sacristy and looked around to gain his bearings. Once he knew where he was, he headed towards the Narthex as if he was looking for something. Not seeing what he searched for, the man approached me and asked to see the white marble Baptismal font. He pointed to the full immersion font where the marble font once stood. At this point in time, the marble font was located in the outer Narthex right at the north corner of the Church by the main doors.
When I showed the man where the marble font was, a look of relief came over his face. As he approached the font, he knelt on one knee. He then reached out his hand and gently touched the brass plaque on the side of the font as if was gently touching the face of a child. A tear formed in his eye. The plaque on the white marble baptismal font reads “Donated by Mr. & Mrs. Michael Basich in memory of their son David Michael Basich.”
2002 – John Neo Memorial Garden
John Neo was a longtime parishioner of Regina Mundi. He was one of those people you know that faith in God was the central focus in his life. At one point, John studied as a Seminarian. At Regina Mundi, John was an active member of our Parish community. He was a member of the Legion of Mary. For the youth members of the Legion, he was fondly known as “Brother John.” John and his wife were regulars at weekday Masses. Barb was an organist who played our Shaw organ. Together, John and Barb began a choir that sang at funeral Masses. The choir that John and Barb began eventually evolved into the Parish’s Resurrection Choir.
Father Alex Kramer was the forth Pastor of Regina Mundi. Father Kramer was the first Diocesan priest to become Pastor after the Montfort Fathers moved on. Father Kramer was here at Regina Mundi Church from 1969 to 1971. In his short time as Pastor, Father began working on the gardens of the newly built Church. He personally planted columnar shaped cedars on the northwest and northeast sides of the Church between the stained glass windows. Along the Building’s southeast side and the east corner of the Church, Father Kramer planted a rose garden where the Hybrid Teas were the center of attention. Peony plants served as the backdrop in the garden bed.
John neo was an admirer of the rose garden that Father Kramer planted. After John’s death, the Parish received a financial gift from his estate to preserve and maintain the gardens here at Regina Mundi Church. The funds came to the Parish just before the remedial repairs to the east corner of the Church began. Knowing that the rose garden would be lost in the construction, Father Wallace Metcalf, who was the Pastor of our Parish in 2002, decided that the money would go toward preserving the Father Kramer roses and peonies.
To construct the “John Neo Memorial Garden,” topsoil was moved from the original rose garden to a new garden site. A garden bed was constructed that ran parallel to the school gym’s east wall. Despite being moved after their first June bloom, many of the Father Kramer roses survived the transplant. And fortunately, all of the moved peonies survived as well.
The John Neo Memorial Garden can be enjoyed even today. It is now a mixed garden bed of Father Kramer’s roses and peonies with day lilies, irises and succulents. Every spring, the garden is covered in blue as the Scilla siberica bloom. During the 2012 to 2013 Parish Hall renovation, all care was given to preserve this Memorial garden that was a part of two men of Faith lives.
Fr. Kramer peonies Fr. Kramer rose
2002 – Foundation Repairs
On June 17, 2002, Bishop Tonnos granted Regina Mundi Parish permission to proceed with the stabilization project that would halt the slow and gradual sinking of the foundations of the east corner of the Church. Why the east corner of the Church was sinking was a mystery. Many possible, feasible reasons were considered. Could it have been the rather shallow footings at that particular corner? Could it be the damaged storm and sanitary sewer lines that had to be repaired a few years earlier due to tree root damage? Or, could it have been poor soil conditions where the footings were poured? No one truly knew the answer why the corner was sinking. It was only known that it had to be repaired.
Rev. Wallace Metcalf was the Pastor of Regina Mundi at this time of the foundation repairs. The architect directing the stabilization project was Paul Bolland. Four engineering firms were used in consultation with the architect to devise a plan to install 14 helical piers to the east corner’s foundation to stabilize the structure. The work for this project was completed on July 19, 2002.
2004 – The Rectory Renovation
On Monday, July 5, 2004, Pastor Rev. Wallace Metcalf moved out of the original Church Rectory to a Rectory located off-site. By this time in the history of Regina Mundi Church, the Parish community’s need for more meeting space was great and the realization that only one priest would likely be stationed at Regina Mundi was accepted as the new norm. The decision to purchase of an off-site Rectory was an important one. The relocation of the Clergy residence, allowed for the renovation of the second floor of the original Rectory to create more office and meeting space.
This defining renovation was the one project that brought the building to its current configuration. A configuration where the clergy serving the Parish community were no longer residing under the same physical roof of the Church as they once did.
The architect of this renovation project was Paul Bolland. Renovation of the old Rectory’s second floor begun in the early fall of 2004 and was completed by year’s end.
2005 – Blessed Sacrament Chapel
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has been an integral part of Regina Mundi’s faith community for a long time. In the early 1990s, Father Robert Bulbrook encouraged the Guardians of the Blessed Sacrament to establish a space where Adoration could be held. For many years, the Church’s crying room served as a makeshift Chapel. But, as time went by, it became evident that a more permanent home for the Adoration Chapel was needed.
In 2005, a formal place for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel was created. But, the place where the Chapel now stands has a bit of history. It was originally the Rectory’s kitchen. In the late 1980s, the Rectory kitchen was renovated to become the Parish’s main office. Finally, in 2004, when the Parish’s main office was moved to the second floor, that space became available to become the new home for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
Rev. Wallace Metcalf was the Pastor of Regina Mundi Parish when the Blessed Sacrament Chapel was created. The architect for the Adoration Chapel project was Paul Bolland.