New look for OLH

Knights provide gracious gift for renovations
As the couple was coming in, the last of the nails were going in.
The Rev. Michael Flannery said it literally took up to the last second to put the finishing touches on the remodeling of Our Lady of Hope Church in Whitehall, but things were ready for the opening Mass on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m.
“I wasn’t nervous at all until this week,” said Flannery. “We were ahead of schedule the whole time but in this last week, everything that could go wrong did and we were working right up until 2:25 p.m. this afternoon. I had a couple coming for a renewal of vows ceremony at 2:30 p.m. and as they were walking in, they were just finishing up.”
The Mass celebrated the culmination of a six-week, approximately $280,000 project to completely remodel the upstairs portion of the church building.
“The work began on Aug. 9,” said Flannery. “We took out the flooring, and replaced it with a porcelain tile and marble in the sanctuary. The pews were also removed and taken to be stripped and refinished.”
Flannery said the appeal for the remodeling project started with an announcement on Father’s Day weekend.
“I announced the project then and asked for support on July 4,” said Flannery.
Flannery said donations for the project came in through the first couple of weeks, but it was a donation from the Knights of Columbus that gave him the confidence to know that the job was going to get done.
“The Knights of Columbus presented us with a donation of $50,000,” said Flannery. “That was huge. That was the turning point for me when I knew that we could do it.”
“We used to own a building that we sold and put the money into the bank to live off,” said Jim Lafayette of the Knights of Columbus. “When Father Flannery started this campaign, the Knights met and discussed the situation and thought that the money would be better used for the good of the parish. People can’t afford a lot right now, so $50,000 helps.”
Flannery said everything fell into place afterward.
“The people just really helped out,” he said. “We had most of the money that we needed in those first two weekends and everyone just made real sacrifices to see this happen.”
“A lot of the Knights have also helped out on the project getting things done,” said Lafayette. “We are very pleased with what is here and how great it looks.”

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