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Author Topic: Photos Taken Of The Old St. Luke's Church When It Was Renovated In 1955  (Read 11392 times)
Henry
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« on: March 20, 2014, 01:06:25 PM »

Photos of this Renovation came from St. Luke's Rectory, but I am unaware who took them: The following article appeared in the March 27, 1955 issue of Our Sunday Visitor.

FAIRFAX CHURCH IS REDECORATED

 The interior of St. Luke Church of Fairfax has taken on a "new look" with the complete redecorating of the Church from the basement to the balcony. Louis Rocheleau of the Rocheleau Decorating Co. of Winooski recommended the color schemes that were followed throughout the Church. The work was done by Wilson Howrigan and Francis Rooney, both parishioners of St. Luke's, together with the donated services of many parishioners of St. Luke Church. "Painting Bees" were held on numerous evenings when as many as ten would be painting at the same time. Such freely donated services kept the cost of the decorating job within the budget of this small rural church. At least two of the parishioners proved to have real artistic talent. One of these, Mrs. Wilson Howrigan, painted all the statues in the church. Another, Mrs. Ralph McGue is touching up and refinishing a set of Stations of the Cross which were presented to St. Luke's from St. Francis Church in Windsor when a new set of Stations was installed there with their new church. These refinished Stations will be installed in St. Luke Church at a later date. The ceiling of the main body of the church is peach in color with the walls in Nassau Green and the baseboard trip in Sandstone Buff. The white main altar stands out in bold relief because of a dark green sanctuary. The ceiling of the vestry is of light blue with the walls of peach. The church hall has a ceiling of very light green with two toned side walls of a slightly darker green and Sandstone buff. New shelves have also been installed in the church hall.


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Stained Glass Windows


Front of the Church taken from the Choir


Front of the Church taken from the Choir


The Choir looking at the stairway to go down stairs


The Choir looking at it from the stairway to go down stairs


Photo from the back of the Church


Photo from the front of the Church - Confessional can be seen in the right rear corner - It was changed to a room with a screen and also another chair so you could speak directly to the priest


Photo from the front of the Church


Photo from the front of the Church - Confessional can be seen in the right rear corner - It was changed to a room with a screen and also another chair so you could speak directly to the priest


The Vestry


Confessional - This was changed from the center door where the priest sat and the confessional on each side of him.  The same confessional is now up at the new St. Lukes


St Luke's Church on the outside around 1955
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 09:17:38 AM by Henry » Logged

Henry Raymond
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 02:30:56 PM »

Thank you, Henry, for the post.  I always enjoy seeing these old photos of Fairfax history.  It helps me, who has only lived here since 1998, feel connected, and gives me a sense of its past and its heritage.
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 07:52:08 PM »

I called David Juaire to see if he might have been the one who took the photos and he told me it wasn't him as he would have been only about 9 years old at that time.  It could have been the Sunday Visitor Publishers who wrote the article, however if anybody has ever seen these photos before, would truly like to give them credit.

I sent a note to Steve Ratte to see if he remembers what happened to the confessional and he sent me back the following note:

Henry, the confessional remained in the same location in the right hand corner as you leave the Church.
 
What great pictures.  I also  remember the marble altars we had.....the  main altar and one by our Blessed Mother.  both marble.  There is one picture showing one of the marble altars on the right side.
 
Great Work, Henry ....
steve

Those Marble Altars were a gift from another Parish, as well as our Stations of the Cross.  The marble altars were very heavy and I am pretty sure were moved up to the Parish Center when it  was dedicated as St. Luke's Church.  I don't know if there is a little tag on the Altar, but believe that was made by Charlie McArdle.  Charlie McArdle and Sam Perry were instrumental in paying off the Parish Center with their weekly bingos.  The fans in the ceiling we have up there now used to circulate the air were put in as our Bingo Players were heavy smokers and it helped clear the air just a bit.  Also, the Sacristy or Vestry, not sure what I should call it had a window just to the right of the confessional that could be opened up and there was also a food concession where hot dogs and the like were sold.  Also, there used to be dividers that you could slide open or close them where the main church is now and I think you could make 4 classrooms out of it.  The dividers are still there in one of the rooms down stairs.  St. Luke's Parish Center was also used by BFA when they ran short of room down at the school and a number of our students attended school up there.  I remember one of the teachers up there had a dog named Arlo and one of my girls told me that they cut his long hair and Arlo always looked mad after that.  I am not sure if that was just Headstart of one or two of the earlier grades that went to school up there as I know at that time there was no kindergarten.

Sorry for the rambling, but if I don't write it down, I will forget it.
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Henry Raymond
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 08:12:07 PM »

It was 50 years ago, just about this time in March 1964 that the St. Luke's Parish Center was completed:

With the departure of Father Sawyer for Windsor, Father Francis A. Hickey was named administrator of St. Luke's Parish on November 24, 1959. He came here from St. Mary's Parish in St. Albans where he had served as an assistant since 1957. Noting the serious need for catechetical facilities for the children of the parish, Father Hickey first looked into the possibility of providing facilities at the church. He was advised that it was not feasible to undertake major improvements on the church property because of lack of land and the poor conditions of the church building resulting from the 1927 flood. It was felt, however, that the church could serve adequately as a place of worship as long as needed.

In the spring of 1961, two tracts of land totaling 5 1/2 acres became available on the Huntville Road in Fairfax village. It was felt that this site would be ideal for a future relocation of the parish property and the land was purchased from its two owners, Roy Warren and Roma Laverdure for a total price of $3,000. Meanwhile, better financial conditions had resulted from increased parish revenue and projects so that $12,000 was in the building fund by early 1963.

With the permission of Bishop Robert F. Joyce and the Diocesan Building Commission, Father Hickey contracted with Ralph F. Branon, a South Burlington architect, for Mr. Branon to draw up plans for a parish catechetical center on the Huntville Road property. The building consisting of four classrooms, a boiler room, and toilet facilities on the ground floor with a large hall, kitchen and storage facilities on the first floor was put out for bid in July 1963. The first floor hall could also be subdivided into four additional classrooms. The successful bidder on the brick and cement block building 73 feet by 54 feet, was the Kenclif Construction Company of Burlington and construction was begun on September 3, 1963, at a total cost of $90,000. The Parish was substantially assisted by a gift of $10,000 from the Rural Missions Fund of the Burlington Diocese of Bishop Joyce. Earlier in 1963, the parishioners had subscribed to an offertory drive for funds so that the total debt on the completed building was $65,000. Construction was completed in late March, 1964, and was blessed by Bishop Joyce on April 9, 1964. On November 25, 1963, a cornerstone was blessed and laid in place by Father Hickey and the building was dedicated to the memory of Father Alfred Couture and Father Joseph Sawyer, former pastors both deceased at the time, and of President John F. Kennedy, who's funeral was held on that date.

Father Alfred Couture was Pastor of St. Luke's Church from 1928 to 1942, when it was a mission of St. Ann's Parish in Milton. It was his bequest of one thousand dollars in 1956 which initiated the fund to bring about future improvement of parish property. Father Couture died on March 25, 1956, as pastor of St. Peter's Church in Vergennes. Father Joseph Sawyer who had served as Pastor in Fairfax from 1953 to 1959 when he was transferred to St. Francis Parish in Windsor where he died on November 1, 1960 had worked diligently to establish and build up a Parish Improvement Fund which had culminated in the erection of the new Parish Catechetical Center. In dedicating the Center in honor of President Kennedy, Father Hickey stated that it was only fitting on the day of the presidential funeral to underline the interest and concern of President Kennedy in the education of youth, which is to be the prime purpose of the new Center.

In 1964, catechism classes were being taught by Sister Ladislaus and Sister Clotilde from St. Louis Convent in Winooski; Judith Contois from Winooski; Mrs. Dorothy King, Mrs. Carol Bessette, Mrs. Frances Montgomery and Mrs. Irene Warner, all parishioners of St. Luke. Teaching assistants, who took a CCD teacher training course in Burlington were Mariette Lavallee, Marie Roberge, Sandra Young, Mrs. Mary Boissoneault, John Palmer, Michael Pigeon and Robert Rooney. The freshman and sophomore high school classes were taught by Bernard Keefe and the junior and senior classes were taught by Father Hickey. Most of the children lived quite a distance from the church and neighborhood car pools were used to transport the children to class. Westford children came by bus furnished by Roland Pigeon, a parishioner and school bus driver in that area.
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Henry Raymond
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2014, 05:18:58 AM »

Hi Henry,
 
I was looking at the photos of St. Lukeís church and it brought back so many memories. If you look at the photo of old St. Lukeís on the bottom of the St. Luke website, there is a photo of the church taken in the late 40ís. Take a look at the ceiling in that photo. It is a curved wooden ceiling and that ceiling was painted light blue. I remember this as a young boy, being born in 1956 , I also still remember the altar rail that was there when I started serving Mass for Fr. Hickey in the early 60ís. Now, if you look at the photos of the renovations, the altar rail is gone. This happened after Vatican II in the 60ís. It was at this time that I remember a working bee that went on week nights and weekends to renovate the church. It was at this time that the suspended ceiling was installed. I remember, Chet Paquin, Leo Pigeon, Donald Boutin, my father and several others working on this project. I believe Chet or Donald doing the wiring and hanging the suspended ceiling.  So I am sure this project took place quite some time after 1955.  Is it possible that something else was done around 1955, because I donít recall Wilson or Charlie working on the ceiling project.  Thanks for the photos Henry.
 
Jim Minor
 
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 08:11:05 AM »

I LOVE these pictures!  Brings back a ton of memories as a little kid.  I so loved this church.  I made my First Communion there and was one of the last classes if not the last class to do so before we moved to the Parish Center that is now our church. I remember listening to my sister sing in the youth group choir. Christmas was just beautiful in there.

A few years ago I was travelling for work and went to mass near Hooksett NH and they have a church similar to our old church. It was nice to see it and the way the community there was so close there as well.
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2014, 08:27:41 AM »

My Jim worked on the renovations.  A long time and many memories ago.
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2014, 09:04:16 AM »

Maybe he can remember and piece together some of the missing parts.  I know in these photos that the old ceiling lights were gone and the suspended ceiling is up with the new fluorescent lights.  I remembered Mrs. Wilson Howrigan painting the statues and Harriet McGue doing the stations of the cross.  The article on March 27, 1955 is where I got the date on this, but it looked like this was a big renovation here.  If you would like to look at some larger pictures, you can click on the following link, then click on the larger thumbnail size image:

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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 08:49:13 AM »

Jimmy Minor, you were right.  I just reread my history of St. Lukes and these photos were taken by The Vermont Catholic Tribune and published July 3, 1968 and was the renovation done as a result of Vatican II:

Fairfax - The parishioners of St. Luke's Church are back in their own church for Sunday Masses following a five-week absence for renovations.

Included in the renewal program was the paneling of the church interior and sanctuary; a new side altar; the removal of the altar railing, pews re-varnished; stations painted; new sub-flooring and tile in church and balcony and carpeting laid in sanctuary and middle aisle.

All of the work was done by the parishioners themselves leaving only a total cost of $3,200 for the materials. Contributions of labor ranged from a minimum of two hours to a maximum of 150 by the men, women and high school students who took part.

Those unable to work during the renovations are invited and encouraged to make a financial contribution according to their ability so they may be a part of the project.
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