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Archives New Kitchen, events thanks to capital campaign

July 31, 2019

By Darcy Fargo
EditorCapital Campaign

BRUSHTON – Using funds raised during the “It’s Our Church, It’s Our Future” capital campaign, St. Mary’s Parish in Brushton renovated its parish center kitchen to enable the parish to conduct social events, bereavement ministry and vital parish fundraisers in the space.

“The kitchen we had was not up to Department of Health standards,” said Father Raymond J. Moreau, pastor of St. Mary’s in Brushton and St. Augustine’s in North Bangor. “In the past couple of years, we had to hold our larger events – our harvest dinners – at the fire station in Bangor. We’re thankful we had that space available to us.”

The parish center, located on the Gale Road, a mile from St. Mary’s Church, is used for religious education, parish council meetings. RCIA classes, organization meetings, fundraising breakfasts and dinners, as well as bereavement ministry, providing families a location to gather for a meal after a funeral.

The project began with an extensive asbestos abatement.Capital Campaign

“The asbestos abatement took a couple months,” Father Moreau said, noting the renovation portion took a similar length of time.

The wait was worth it, according to Jane Boyea, coordinator of the parish event committee.

“The size of the kitchen was more than doubled,” said Boyea. “Before, there was very little workspace, and it was very congested during larger functions.”

The project also included the installation of a walk-in cooler, a commercial dishwasher and countertops.

Boyea noted that the parish was also able to secure a donation of stainless-steel counters and equipment.

“It came from a McDonald’s that was being renovated,” she said. “I have a nephew who was working with the engineering firm on the project. My nephew asked what they were doing with the equipment. When they told him they were disposing of it, he told them he knew of a church that would love to have it. They gave him everything they didn’t want.”

Since the new kitchen expanded into a space previously occupied by storage and restrooms, new restrooms had to be constructed, also in existing space.

“We now have restrooms that are accessible for individuals with disabilities,” Father Moreau said.

In addition, 90 percent of the building’s flooring was replaced.

“Our Mother’s Day breakfast was the first event we were able to hold in the renovated space,” said Boyea. “It’s a much nicer kitchen now.”

Father Moreau said the renovated space also makes the center more conducive to social functions.

“Our hope is to use it for more gatherings and social groups, which we haven’t done in the past,” he said. “The plan is to begin offering more social activities starting in the fall.”

Father Moreau said the parish had previously not had the means to update the center.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the capital campaign,” he said. “And without the fundraisers that take place in this parish center, we wouldn’t be able to sustain this parish financially. This project, and the capital campaign, will help keep us going and hopefully help us offer more social functions.”


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