Construction Update – September 1/2 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Subcontractor crews are working hard to complete the punch-list. Additional future work will include adding more sound absorption panels, replacing the east entrance canopy roofing, installing a scupper on the west side of the gathering space roof, and installing video projection.

The focus of construction moves to adding handicap parking on the Dempsey Road side of Saint Dennis, then repairing sidewalks and seal coating. Still waiting for final city approval.

I am grateful for your patience during this construction project. I thank all involved with this project for their ideas, support, help, and prayers.


Construction Update – August 25/26 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

After the 10:45 a.m. Mass, your help is needed to take liturgical furnishings and chairs to Fellowship Hall. Other chairs get put away under the gym stage. Platforms need to be taken to the dumpsters.

Contact Paul Stoffel if you can assist with odds and ends on September 6 and 7 at 608-358-5351.


Construction Update – August 18/19 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

We’re in the final week of construction that includes the installation of the art glass and crucifix, finishing flooring and wood trim, anchoring pews, and mounting hand rails.

The altar, ambo, and tabernacle are expected to be delivered.

Sanctuary lighting fixture installation continues.

Chairs, liturgical furnishings and wooden risers in the gym need to be put away after 10:45 a.m. Mass on September 2. Your help is needed.


Construction Update – August 11/12 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Help is needed on Sunday, August 19th after 9:00 a.m. Mass to return the pews to the chapel. (LED lighting improvements in the chapel will begin as soon as the lighting fixtures arrive.)

Patiently waiting for approval from the City of Madison to begin parking and sidewalk improvements.

Improvements to the school kitchen dishwasher area have begun.

Chairs, liturgical furnishings and wooden risers in the gym need to be put away after 10:45 a.m. Mass on September 2. Your help is needed.


Construction Update – August 4/5 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Chapel remodeling is scheduled for August 13-17. During that week, morning Mass will be held in the gym. A red cloth, hanging in the church door, will visually remind attendees of the move to the gym.

Help is needed on Sunday, August 19 after 9:00 a.m. Mass to return the pews to the Chapel.

Chairs, liturgical furnishings and wooden risers in the gym need to be put away after 10:45 a.m. Mass on September 2. Your help is needed.

Carpentry skills? A volunteer is needed now to help repair some cabinetry in the Fellowship Hall kitchen. Contact Paul Stoffel at 608-358-5351.


Construction Update – July 28/29 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Chapel remodeling is scheduled for August 13-17. During that week, morning Mass will be held in the gym. A red cloth, hanging in the church door, will visually remind attendees of the move to the gym.

Pews will be temporarily removed from the chapel on Friday, August 10 at 9:00 am, right after morning Mass and Rosary. Volunteers are needed to help move the pews to the gathering space. Call Paul Stoffel at 358-5351 if you can help.

Work performed in the chapel includes: new carpeting, wall painting and the removal of the orange wall carpet.

Eventually, LED lighting will be installed, including track lighting. Electrical work in the chapel will be scheduled as soon as all the light fixtures arrive. Also eventually, the Mary and Joseph statues will be wall-mounted in the chapel.


Construction Update – July 21/22 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

The weekly Construction Progress slideshow videos can now be seen on the Saint Dennis website’s Centered on Christ page. The videos are also posted on the Saint Dennis Facebook page.

For daily Mass, if the church entrance has a solid red poster hanging in the door, then the Mass for that day will be held in the gym. No color in the door means daily Mass is in the chapel.

Anyone interested in wanting a Chapel pew should contact Paul at 608-358-5351.


Construction Update – July 7/8 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

35 more working days remaining after six weeks of work.

Parking lot and sidewalk work to be started sometime after Festival.

Pay request #02 from NCI-Roberts Construction for $300,311.

So far seven additional Change Orders totaling $8,762, including new LED lighting for school cafeteria.


Making Progress Each Day – June 30/31 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

A stainless steel backsplash covers the walls of the kitchen in Fellowship Hall.

The school’s south restrooms have new sinks.

The church restrooms’ rough plumbing has been completed. Wall and floor tiling is next.

The walls of the sanctuary space have been completed. Electrical is next.

Popcorn ceiling texture removed from sanctuary ceiling.

The long-unused bubblers in the gym have been removed. Cement patching to follow.


Construction Progress – June 23/24 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

A plumbing trench to the new family restroom was dug, piped and recemented.

Extensive sanctuary framing has taken place and continues. Next is the platform.

Electrical work in the church’s ceiling has begun for the sanctuary lighting.

New sinks and faucets in the school’s north restrooms are being installed.

Power-assist doors are installed to the school cafeteria and main entrance to the Parish Center.


Moving Day Accomplished – June 10/11 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

After moving day was accomplished, Sue Besler wrote and I heartily concur: “What a blessing! We had so many helpers it went so fast and hardly a hitch. I was most pleasantly surprised. Thank you to all the great volunteers! What a great day!”

As I write this, the church pews are resting in Fellowship Hall and the reredos screen and sanctuary platform have been removed. The plumbers have removed the fixtures in the restrooms and the new family restroom doorway is exposed. Electrical work has begun with the removal of the square-box pendant lights. Updated cooling in the gym is installed and the new cafeteria entrance doors are in place. The Holy Family and Saint Joseph and Blessed Virgin Mary statues have been removed for cleaning and repair.

If you would like one or more of the original pendant lights from church, they will be available for pickup until Sunday, June 17. Eventually, the chapel pews will be available. Contact me if you are interested in the pendant lights or pews at 358-5351.

The chapel is accessible for morning Mass services and Saturday morning reconciliation. Any access restrictions would be because of carpet replacement, sidewalk/driveway repair and East entrance door replacement.

I, and others, will be posting photos to the Saint Dennis Parish Facebook page.


Construction Begins on June 4 – May 26/27 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Volunteers are needed on Sunday, June 3 to help with moving sanctuary furnishings to the gym. Please contact Paul Stoffel at or call 358-5351. There is also sign-up sheets in the ushers’ room.

Scott McKinley is the NCI-Roberts superintendent that will be running this project. He will be on-site for every one of the 69 construction days, with work starting June 4. Work will begin each morning at 7:00 am and end at 3:30 pm.

After discussions with diocese representatives, the decision has been made to leave the pipe organ in place. The keyboard console will be removed and stored during construction. The main cabinet will be covered to protect the pipes from construction dust.

Thank you for your time, talent and treasure, and patience!


Help Needed with the Sanctuary Move – May 12/13 and May 19/20 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Volunteers are needed on June 3 at noon (after Fellowship coffee and donuts) to help move the sanctuary furnishings to the gym. If you can help, contact Paul Stoffel at or call 358-5351. There is also a sign-up sheet in the ushers’ room.

We need to move the keyboard, music stands and sound equipment to the school gymnasium. Parenting and ushers’ rooms and additional sound equipment need to be moved to the sixth grade classroom for summer storage. Fellowship Hall tables need to be stored in the custodian’s closet. Fellowship Hall chairs need to be moved to the gym. Additional folding chairs need to be set up in the gym. Church hymnals need to be collected and boxed. Please bring your spare boxes.

Some items will be moved using the school hallway and carts. Other items will need to be loaded on a trailer and driven to the school main entrance doors.


Project Choices Ahead – May 5/6 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

On the weekend of April 15, Father Randy introduced you to the Centered on Christ fundraising campaign and provided project costs and financial information. He shared “we are on a tight, yet doable, time frame” to reach the fundraising goal of $2.26 million. Father Randy recommended June 1 as the date to return your financial pledge of support.

The committee carefully identified a long list of items that have need of renovations and updating. In the coming weeks, the committee will be making touch choices as to which project items can be started on June 4, and conversely, what items need to be postponed – all based on the fundraising pledges received.

I am grateful for your participation. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.


Cleaning, Clearing and Planning – April 28/29  (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Sanctuary construction begins in 6 weeks!

Thank you to the church environment group who is cleaning out the space behind the reredos, in anticipation for the church renovations beginning June 4. Items saved will be stored in the Parish Center basement.  Those involved were: Ruth Benesh, Lynn Sullivan, Dorothy Ewing, Mike Stewart, DeWayne Kennedy-Parker, Matt Schaefer and Father Randy.

Saint Dennis staff and teachers have been busy clearing space in the basement of the Parish Center to make room for the new unisex restroom and additional classroom/music practice room.

Planning meetings will begin May 2, with Pat Hendrickson leading a group of parishioners to discuss the logistics of having weekend Masses in the school gymnasium. Send your thoughts to Pat.

Keyboard training happened this past Monday.

I am grateful for your participation in the Centered on Christ fundraising campaign. Thank you.


Newest Construction Documents – April 21/22 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Is was great to see you at last Sunday’s Facility Renewal congregation presentation in the church. Thank you for your attentive questions and sharing your comments. The audio from that meeting will be posted on the Centered on Christ webpage.

Thank you to Father Randy for speaking about the Facility Renewal Campaign at all four weekend Masses. You can view his PowerPoint presentation that is posted on the Centered on Christ webpage. Thank you Kelly Cheramy for the opening campaign video. Dan Cheramy provided the PowerPoint slides.

The newest set of church construction documents is posted on the Centered on Christ webpage.


Parish Presentation and Project Preview – April 14/15 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

This weekend is the public kickoff of the Saint Dennis Sanctuary and Facility Renewal pledge campaign. A parish presentation and project preview will take place in the church this Sunday, April 15 at noon.

Hear up-to-date details on construction plans, logistics,  and costs. Come and share your thoughts and comments with the Centered on Christ committee.

Carpet, tile and paint samples will be on display. Construction drawings will be set out on tables.


Details of the Project – April 7/8 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair) 

The Reconciliation Room, adjacent to the Prayer Chapel, will remain in its current location. New carpeting is planned.

The new Yamaha grand piano electronic keyboard is in the church, replacing the acoustic piano, which has been relocated to the Prayer Chapel.

The construction bids for the Sanctuary redesign have been evaluated by the general contractor NCI-Roberts and the Design/Build ad-hoc subcommittee. The work includes demolition, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, lighting and flooring and finishes.

We invite you to the public kickoff of the Saint Dennis Facility Renewal Campaign at all Masses the weekend of April 14-15, followed by a parish preview at noon on Sunday, April 15.

The Saint Dennis Parish weekly offertory envelope packet mailed to you contains a Centered on Christ monthly envelope.

Questions or comments? Call Paul at 608-358-5351 or email


Drawings (Proposals), Bids, Lighting and More – March 31/April 1 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair) 

An “Addendum A” drawing set PDF has been added to the “Floor Plans” location on the Centered on Christ website. The addendum is dated March 9 and includes corrections, deletions and additions to the previous drawing set issued February 19. These documents are also available for viewing in the parish office.

Additionally on the website are five drawings (proposals) that identify various parking lot and sidewalk repair scenarios. One drawing shows the proposed location for additional handicap parking, south of the school turnaround.

Construction bids reviewing began and will continue for another week. Final colors and materials are being selected. This work is in preparation for a formal diocesan review of our Centered on Christ Sanctuary Redesign and Facilities Improvement Plan.

On display in the church is a representative LED pendant lighting fixture.

New hymnals will be arriving in May. The OCP Breaking Bread series combines the best elements of a hymnal and a missal (the Sunday readings).

Hope to see you Sunday, April 15 at noon in the church to preview the finished architectural drawings, see updates on the liturgical furnishings and help launch the Centered on Christ fundraising campaign.


Updates and Previews – March 24/25 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Some of you may have noticed at last Sunday’s Masses with Fr. Allam that there were loud popping sounds. The connecting wire from his head-worn microphone to the transmitter bodypack needed replacing. Included with the sanctuary renovation project will be replacement of our four wireless microphone systems. The FCC has auctioned off some the TV broadcast spectrum, selling frequency bandwidth to wireless cell phone companies, most notably T-Mobile. Our current wireless microphones operate in these now-sold frequencies. So, more-frequency-agile (tuneable) microphone systems are to be purchased.

The digital keyboard’s dolly has arrived and is installed. The digital keyboard will move to the church after Easter. The grand piano will move to the chapel.

Additional handicap and school visitor parking is proposed for the west side of school, just south of the school’s driveway loop. Other locations are discarded.

Hope to see you Sunday, April 15, at noon in the church, to preview the finished architectural drawings, see updates on liturgical furnishings and help launch the Centered on Christ fundraising campaign.


Summer Construction Updates – March 17/18 (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Interested parishioners can contact Bryan Buenzli, project manager, about bidding on church and school renovation projects. The trades include theatrical lighting, plumbing, flooring, HVAC, drywall, painting, asphalt and sidewalk. Bids are due back March 23. Contact Bryan at or call 230-7383.

The church driveways, parking lots, curbing and sidewalks require various degrees of maintenance or replacement. We are working with NCI Roberts to identify and categorize the work needed.

Except for Festival Sunday’s roast beef dinner, the school gymnasium will be setup for church services throughout the summer. Fellowship Hall, the Gathering Space and church bathrooms will be closed during this summer’s construction, as will the church’s west entrance. The chapel will remain mostly accessible for morning Mass during construction, except for new carpeting installation days.

The Mary and Joseph statues will be relocated to the chapel, after they have been touched up. The planter in the southwest corner of the church will be removed. The height of the sanctuary’s reredos has been increased in height by two feet to allow for larger video projection screens.


Final Planning Items (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

Final electrical and lighting plans were discussed on Wednesday, March 7, with the electrical contractor. The church’s interior lighting will be entirely LED.

Father Randy, Pat Hendrickson, Katy Finkelmeyer and Jim Enright visited Wisconsin Stone Design in Cudahy, along with designer Paul Barribeau and fabricator Gino Tassara. The stone was selected for the altar and ambo.  Now that the stone has been chosen, wood finishes and flooring options can be finalized.

Architect Kristin McGraw writes:  “We received plan approval from the City [of Madison] last week.”  The drawing plans were submitted on February 21.  The approval letter will be attached to the drawing plans. Much time was spent combing through the drawing plans. Subsequently, Kristin released an addendum on March 9 that includes updates and corrections to the plans.

Interested parishioners can contact Bryan Buenzli, project manager, about bidding on church and school renovation projects. The trades include plumbing, flooring, HVAC, drywall, painting, asphalt and sidewalk. Bids are due back March 23. Contact Bryan at or call 230-7383.

Reserve Sunday, April 15, at noon, for a Centered on Christ preview of the drawings and a question and answer session in the church.  More information will be forthcoming.


Liturgical Furnishings (provided by Jim Enright, Liturgical Furnishings Committee Chairman)

The Saint Dennis Liturgical Furnishings Committee is working with Liturgical Architect Paul Barribeau and craftsmen from several companies to specify designs for liturgical furnishings, as well as floor materials and colors for the Church, Sanctuary, Gathering Space, Prayer Chapel and Fellowship Hall.

The new altar, ambo and tabernacle will be fabricated by Inspired Artisans using a combination of stone, wood and metal.  A group from St. Dennis is visiting masons in Milwaukee in early March to select stone for the altar and ambo.  Once the stone is selected, sanctuary flooring materials and colors will be finalized.

The new crucifix, which will be suspended above the sanctuary, will feature a life-size “corpus” made of wood carved to specifications generated by the Liturgical Furnishings Committee.  The carving will be provided by T.H. Stemper, also the source for new catalogue furnishings such as the presider chairs, tables and other furniture items, and appointments such as sanctuary lamp and Easter candle stand. Some current appointments are being reused.  Examples include the four candle stands which will be replated, and the processional crucifix which will be mounted on a new staff.

A new back-lit “art-glass” panel on the back wall of the sanctuary is being designed and created by the same artisan from Vinery Stained Glass Studio who designed the existing art-glass panes on the side walls.  The new panel will provide a dramatic backdrop for the crucifix.

The arrangement of the furnishings, from the baptismal font in back of church to the altar and ambo, to the crucifix and tabernacle and finally to the art-glass panel represent Christ’s life journey from baptism, through teaching to sacrifice and resurrection.


Detailed Picture of the Project  (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

The architect from Groth Design Group is drawing construction documents for the sanctuary renovation.  A complete set of documents contains floor plans, elevations, sections and details that, together, form a detailed picture of the project.

The most up-to-date floor plan is posted on the Centered on Christ web page. The most notable changes to the floor plan are the location of the family bathroom and slight changes to the sanctuary platform. An access ramp is shown between the sanctuary platform and the choir space. The sanctuary platform is wider, giving more space around the ambo.

Also on the website is an example of a chart that helps with project management, from Saint Dennis’ perspective, during the construction phase. Essentially, the as-shown, partial chart illustrates the scope of work by listing task descriptions. A full-blown chart (not shown) also keeps track of various steps along the way, such as quotes received, material received, installation complete and more.


Grand Piano Keyboard  (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

As part of the sanctuary remodeling project, a Yamaha electronic keyboard has been purchased. The keyboard’s cabinet resembles a grand piano style, capable of providing an accurate simulation of an acoustic piano, an organ, and many other accompanying, instrumental sounds.

The grand piano keyboard will replace the need for the traditional piano and pipe organ. The traditional piano is becoming more and more difficult to keep in tune. Keeping the pipe organ fully functional would require costly console and mechanical updates and repairs. Recently, it was noted during the church’s acoustical study that the pipe organ also has an air leak somewhere in the bellows. The plan is for the pipe organ to be removed.

The Centered on Christ committee, along with the parish pianists, choir directors and Saint Dennis Liturgical staff, have weighed in on the decision to begin using an electronic keyboard. It is temporarily located in the chapel until a dolly is delivered to make it mobile. It is expected that the keyboard will be moved into the church within the next couple of weeks, after a training session from the Yamaha dealership. The chapel will be the new home for the traditional piano.


Church Lighting  (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)

A major goal of the church renovation and facilities upgrade project is to replace the current lighting in church, and around campus, with energy-saving LED bulbs.

In church, the current pendant lights will be replaced with new LED pendant fixtures that have a bright downlight, as well as an uplighting array, to illuminate the ceiling.

A common method of measuring the amount of light in a room is by using a light meter that measures in “foot-candles.” The lighting in a church should typically be around 20 to 40 foot-candles. A lighting contractor recently measured the available light. At different locations in the pews, the foot-candles were low and varied widely: o.7, 2.5, 6.7 and 11.8.

These foot-candle readings are not surprising. We know the church needs better lighting, more foot-candles, but it also needs more uniform lighting throughout.

New, brighter, dimmable church lighting is part of the Centered on Christ sanctuary renovation project.

Financial Update (provided by Father Randy, Pastor)

Task force includes: Dan Clancy, Mark Courchane, Craig Fenrick, Todd Hollister, Derek Metcalf, Jim Wilson, office staff: Roger Howerton and Sue Besler; Campaign Chair – Paul Stoffel.

  1. Savings on-hand available for project – $89,438
  2. 2017 year-end gifts received for project (32 gifts = $93,628)
  3. 15 pledge gifts received totaling $518,000
    1. 5-year pledge commitment
    2. Average of $34,500
    3. 10 outstanding pledges to be returned
  4. Total pledged to-date & on-hand for project – $701,066 – January 30, 2018
  5. Additional Funding Possibilities
    1. Diocese of Madison-Apostolate of Persons with Disabilities
  6. Task force recommends to begin inquiry with lending institutions and credit union regarding loan options
  7.  Timeline
    1. Per Diocesan policy – ‘blackout period’ – no active fundraising through Annual Catholic Appeal (Commitment Weekend for Bishop’s Appeal is March 3 & 4)
    2. Early April: solicit 50 additional pledge commitments
    3. Mid-April: parish-at-large in pew commitment
  1. Goal:
    1. Goal 1- $1,335,000(sanctuary redesign, liturgical furnishings, lighting, flooring, family restroom, restrooms refurbished, power-assisted doors, video projection)
    2. Goal 2 – $183,000(school classroom heating units, school kitchen flooring and walls; additional handicap and visitor parking, sidewalk repair)
    3. Goal 3 – $195,000(solar collector panels, school bathroom sinks, lockers, ceiling tiles, campus lighting/security)
    4. All Three Goals – $1,713,000

Acoustic  Renovation Design (provided by Paul Stoffel, Committee Chair)
Our church “room” or space was evaluated by acoustical engineers this past week. They wanted
to understand and diagnose why the church’s unique room acoustics are actually degrading
sound quality, affecting speech intelligibility and clarity.

The acoustic engineers took measurements to determine the room’s frequency response, bass
decay, reverberation time and reflections.

Preliminary indications point to a need for acoustic renovation design elements which include
increasing the amount of hard surface floor areas, such as under the pews; the use of sound
reflective/diffusing profiles on the east and west walls of the church; and the application of
sound absorbing material at strategic locations. These recommended design elements will be
part of the Centered on Christ sanctuary renovation project.