A Roman Catholic presence in the Shenandoah Valley since 1932

Building Chairman's Update

building project

February 20, 2020

Dear fellow parishioners,

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our new church. As I am sure everyone knows, Bishop Knestout made a surprise visit to our work site on February 14, 2020. Fr. Rolo, Deacon Dave, Mike McGinnis, and myself walked through the building with him explaining all of the ongoing work and what work will be accomplished when finished. I overheard him make several comments as we toured the building, all of which were very positive and highly complementary. My personal favorite was when he said, “We are going to have to schedule many events in this place because this building is like a cathedral.”

Since my last letter, the exterior work on the church has progressed very well. The stone work has been completed around both sides of the building and has started on the walls of the day chapel. As the finishing touches of the concrete work are completed, the stone masons will be putting stone on the bell tower and the front façade of the church. All of the stone work is scheduled to be completed by the end of March. Construction of the covered walkway has commenced and should be completed by mid-March. At the end of March or early April, a cupola will be hoisted into place on top of the bell tower. Roof work was started at the end of January and should be completed by mid-March. 

During the months of March and April a lot of construction activity will take place on the surrounding grounds of our new church. Curbs and gutters will be installed along with sidewalks north of the building. Parking lots will be paved and exterior lighting in the parking areas will be erected. In early May the plaza at the front of our church will be built along with the sidewalks that will be out in front. Soon after that work is completed, perhaps by mid-April, landscaping will begin. Plantings which will define our property borders will be installed as well as other plants around the main building and parking areas.

As the roof has been made water-tight, a great deal of interior work has started. Metal framing and studs have been erected within the sanctuary and transept areas. Drywall has been installed throughout those areas and the temporary walls in the transepts have been partially completed. Once the roof over the narthex is made water-tight, drywall will be installed within the nave and narthex areas. All of the windows in both transepts and at the back of the sacristy have been installed. The remaining windows for the nave area will be installed over the next several weeks. Heating and air conditioning units have been installed and are being connected. Duct work within the narthex area has started and is quickly being completed. Electrical work as well as plumbing work is ongoing. Over the next several months the interior work will continue and be made ready for the painters.

Among all of this great news I am saddened to report that our building will not be completed and ready for services by Pentecost. Due to delays incurred by weather and with building the concrete walls, our church will not be ready for services until later this summer. We are coordinating with the Office of the Bishop to schedule the dedication of our church. The dedication date will be announced as soon as it is locked in with the Bishop’s schedule.

We ask that you please continue to pray for the success of our building project. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance and your support, we look forward to dedicating our new church some time later this summer.



Phillip Thorpe

Chair, St. John the Evangelist Church Building Committee

3D church building