Our renovation is complete.  Click on picture to see the Dedication Mass and the renovated space.


Click here for Renovation Information and HERE for renovation pictures

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Renovation Committee

To create a renovation plan that is responsive to the parish, The Renovation Committee has been guided by comments from parishioners concerning elements of the church building which are problematic, do not meet the needs of specific ministries, or are in need of restoration.

Their source for renovation guidelines is "Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture and Worship." This document was prepared by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to guide the faithful involved in the building or renovation of a church.

Individual ministries at OLN were invited to list the improvements they felt were needed in the Centrum, Commons, and Entrance. Over a period of months, the committee addressed these needs, established priorities, and prepared a compiled list to present to parishioners. These needs are the components of an overall plan which will be discussed with an architectural firm to establish viability and costs.

Any renovation will be subject to review and approval of Diocese.

Our Mission

The Eucharist is the core of our faith. In our assembly at Mass, we gather together as one family. When we can see, hear, and participate, we are drawn more fully into a deeper and more meaningful connection to our God.

The Renovation Committee is committed to responding to the needs expressed by 17 ministries, and our parishioners, to renew and improve our worship space. 

The renovation is focused on the Centrum, the Commons, and the parish entrance. Some things do not function well and need to be replaced, some things have been worn by time and need renewed, some are inadequate and require change.

Our goals include the following:

  • Replace the HVAC System. 
  • Improve the lighting system. 
  • Create better viewing of the altar from the assembly. 
  • Provide easier access and participation for the handicapped.

We are dedicated to completing the renovation in a cost-effective manner.


  • Tim Garrison, Chairman
  • Elaine Cronk
  • Joe Elligson
  • Rene Gagnier

  • Lee Garth
  • Colleen Hernandez
  • Dan Keeley
  • Libby Osborne
  • Dick Surrusco
  • John Langan 
  • Ken Srpan


  • Lee Garth
  • Dan Keeley
  • Circle Design Studio

Financial Feasibility

  • Rene Gagnier
  • Mark Freitas


Hughes and Associates
Architect and Engineers

  • Jeff Parkhill
  • Earle Shumate

Funding of Renovation

Information will be posted when available.

Answers To Questions Raised By Parishioners

Updated May 8, 2015

Why don’t we just build a new nave and narthex on our property rather than renovate the existing ones?

The Renovation Committee considered building a new church. We have space on our land site. The cost of constructing a new building was estimated at between $8 and $10 million. It would take approximately 5 years from the creation of the design to completion of the project.

The Renovation Committee and the Finance Council both agreed that the cost would create a financial burden for the parish. Throughout discussions, the Finance Council was firm on one guiding principle. They would not approve any renovation that negatively impacted the OLN Ministries. We know of several parishes that undertook major building projects and then had difficulty making their monthly loan payments. Their over commitment had a negative effect on their operation budgets and the budgets of their ministries. We do not want to put Our Lady of Nazareth Parish in that situation.

The front entry sidewalk is slippery when wet. Will it be replaced?

There have been numerous complaints about how slippery the front sidewalk is when wet. The present entry sidewalk will be torn out when we renovate and a safer surface will be installed. The same surface will be installed for the walk to the covered entryway.

Why does the entryway in the Conceptual Design provide weather protection only for a disabled passenger and not also for the caregiver?

The Renovation Committee focused on addressing the needs that were submitted to us. The request was to protect disabled passengers from the elements by providing a covered entryway. After the Audio/Visual presentation to the Parish, several parishioners mentioned that caregivers also need cover. The Renovation Committee is taking this suggestion under advisement and will evaluate its possible inclusion in the Conceptual Design

How many seats do we have in the existing Nave?

There are 592 seats the Nave. 561 seats are in the main section. 31 chairs line the exterior wall. Our present seating arrangement does not meet Roanoke County’s Safety Code. It requires a minimum of 36” distance between the back of the seat/pew in one row and the back of the seat/pew in the row behind it. About 60-70% of our rows do not meet this minimum requirement (some rows are only 31” -33”).

The width along the back and side aisles must be a minimum of 42”. Our back aisle is only 33” and the side aisle does not meet the minimum. The big advantage of wider aisles is that it will enable emergency personnel to get their equipment down the aisles to a parishioner in need of help.

Because the seating arrangement was approved by the county when the building was constructed in 1978, we are grandfathered into being able to keep the present seating without penalty. However, any change or renovation would require OLN to submit plans to the county that meet the current Safety Code for distances between rows and widths of aisles. According to an analysis by our architects, the Safety Code requirements would mean a loss of 70 seats. This would reduce the number of the seats in the Nave to 522.

The Renovation Committee could not support losing 70 seats. The committee and architect spent months considering design changes that would keep the seating closer to 592. The Conceptual Design presented to the parish has 600 seats and is the result of those efforts.

What has been the average attendance for each of the masses in 2014?

The ushers take attendance at each mass once a month and submit the numbers to the Diocese. The Renovation Committee was given copies of these reports for all of 2014. We prepared a report that broke down the attendance for each mass. This report is in the appendix.

The average weekly attendance for OLN masses in 2014 was:

  • 5:30 Mass: 366
  • 7:30 Mass: 184
  • 9:30 Mass: 485
  • 11:30 Mass: 357

Why would we spend $3,000,000 to just add 8 seats?

Adding more seats was never a goal of the Renovation Committee. Our exterior structural walls dictate the size of our interior space, and we can’t stretch that space. However, we did not want to lose seats. Our objective was to find a way to maximize the seating in a new design and still meet the requirements of the Safety Code. The Conceptual Design presented to the parish does that.

The $3,000,000 addresses much more than seating. It will fulfill these needs:

  • A new heating and air conditioning system
  • A new lighting system
  • An improved sound system
  • Natural light in the Nave
  • Special access for disabled parishioners to participate in our worship as Lectors or Eucharistic Ministers
  • A circular arrangement of seating to provide better viewing of the altar and enhance participation in the Liturgy.

Why is the tabernacle in the Chapel?

To answer this we need to first address what is a tabernacle? It’s “the place for the reservation of the Most Holy Eucharist” which was not distributed and consumed in a given liturgy. The Host is Consecrated Bread, is reserved for two purposes: for adoring and for taking to the sick during the week. According to The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (nos. 314-5), the tabernacle can either be in the sanctuary or ‘even in some chapel suitable for private adoration and prayer of the faithful…organically connected to the church and readily noticeable."

Since 1978, with the permission of our bishops, our parishes (and others) have chosen the second option as the place of reservation: “a part of the church that is truly noble, prominent, conspicuous, worthily decorated, and suitable for prayer.” The chapel is also open and accessible for our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who take our Eucharistic Lord to our sick in hospitals, nursing facilities and at home. 

Presently, both adorers and ministers come to the chapel at all hours of the day.   

Why is there a sacristy in the Chapel and another in the Nave?

A sacristy is a room where sacred vessels, furnishings and vestments are stored and from where preparations for the liturgy and purification of the vessels after the liturgy takes place.   The ministers of the liturgy asked in the gathering of a needs list for the renovation, that a sacristy be nearer to the altar in the event that something is forgotten during the preparations and to take vessels to be purified after the liturgy.   The sacristy nearer to the chapel would contain vessels and supplies for masses to be held there during the week and for smaller or more intimate weddings and funerals. At present, because of lack of storage, we have liturgy supplies in closets and sheds throughout our facility.

Will the Ciborium be taken from the Nave after communion or will it be put in the Nave Sacristy and taken to the Chapel tabernacle after Mass? 

Technically, the Ciborium whenever it contains the Blessed Sacrament belongs in the tabernacle; never in a sacristy. In other words, we will continue our present practice after communion of taking the remaining hosts and transferring it and reserving it in the chapel. A better and ideal practice would be to not bring the ciborium from the tabernacle into the nave at all and for all those communing that day to receive from bread and wine that has been prepared, presented and consecrated for that liturgy. The problem is this: the number of those communing is not stable from week to week in order for ministers of the liturgy to prepare accordingly…thus, the need of the ciborium.  

Why do we have an Immersion Font?  

The answer is simple: for immersions. “In the celebration of baptism the washing with water should take on it full importance as the sign of that mystical sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection through which those who believe in his name dies to sin and rise to eternal life”. 

When will we know that we have the raised the $1,000,000 we need to go forward with the renovation?

The Diocese is requiring each parish to participate in their “Living Our Mission” fund raising campaign. The Diocese encourages parishes who want to raise funds for renovation or a new building to do a combined campaign. A combined campaign would simultaneously solicit funds for the Diocesan’s “Living Our Mission” and the OLN Renovation. Of the goal set by the Diocese, the Parish would receive 66.7% of the money pledged, and the Diocese would receive 33.3%. Any money collected above the goal amount would be allocated 90% to the Parish, and 10% to the Diocese.

This is the same program used by St. Andrews to restore their steeples.

The combined campaign will be conducted by the Parish with the guidance of professional consultants selected by the Diocese. We have been assigned the same consultant who worked with St. Andrews.

At a recent meeting, the consultant presented a calendar that outlined all the steps OLN will take, from organization to completion of the fund raising. The consultant told us their goal is to complete fund raising by the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. We will get reports during the campaign and should have a good idea of how much money is being pledged in the first quarter of 2016.

In February 2016, our Finance Council plans to give their recommendation to the Parish Council about whether to go forward with the renovation, or not.

Where would we celebrate mass while the Nave is being renovated?

We considered renting space but decided it was not a good idea for a number of reasons. There would be the hassle of having to set up and tear down every Saturday and Sunday .We would have rental expense .Parishioners would find it inconvenient to go to another location for mass.

We want to keep our parish family worshipping together in the easiest way. Therefore, we decided to celebrate the masses in the Fellowship Hall during construction in the Nave. The architect’s layout shows we can seat 420 to 440 in the Fellowship Hall, with any overflow seating in the Narthex.

During the renovation, some parishioners may decide to change from the mass they regularly attend to another mass that is less crowded. For instance, the 9:30 mass has the highest attendance at 485. Some who regularly go to 9:30 may change to 11:30, since it has more available seats.

Where will we have fellowship after masses?

The Renovation Committee wants to continue fellowship after mass. Since construction is scheduled for Spring and Summer, the outdoors provides a nice option. During construction in the Nave, we intend to rent a large tent to provide a place for fellowship. Tables and chairs will be placed under a tent adjacent to the kitchen. An outdoors Fellowship Cafe sounds inviting.

What will the Renovation Committee do until the decision is made to go or not go?

The Renovation Committee will be on hold until the decision about renovating is made. 


The following is a list of words that will help you as you follow our renovation process.

American Institute of Architects; the organization that accredits the architects we will use.

The table of the holy sacrifice of the Mass, where the bread and wine is consecrated/changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. It is facing the people (see Sanctuary).

The stand or podium from which, during the Liturgy of the Word in Mass, the bible readings, the Responsorial Psalm, Gospel, Homily, and our Intercessions are read (see Lectern).

Cabinet that holds the sacred oils that we use in the sacraments, such as Baptism, Confirmation, and the Anointing of the Sick. It is now located next to the San Damiano cross by the font.

The area, typically at the entrance to the worship space (see Centrum) where Baptism is celebrated, and where the baptismal font is located.

Baptismal Font
Structure that holds the water for Baptism, and is fixed in the baptistery; It should be large enough for a child/adult to be immersed or dipped in the waters of new life.

The goblet in which the wine, mixed with water, is consecrated by the priest into the Precious Blood. It is usually made of a metal appropriate to the worshipping community.

The room/space designated for celebrating Mass and for personal prayer. It is where the Blessed Sacrament is kept in repose (see Tabernacle). It is enclosed and private.

The sacred building designated for us to gather, either together as a community or for private prayer, offering an opportunity for all to participate in the life of our parish, each as we are able. It includes the chapel, centrum, and fellowship hall. (See also Narthex).

The covered bowl used to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.

Code of Canon Law
The principal body of law for the Catholic Church. A section that deals with Sacred Places, provides the norms/guidelines for our church buildings. Other documents from the American bishops and our Diocese will help us in our renovation plans.

Credence Table
A small table in the sanctuary located to the side of the altar, that holds the sacred vessels and linens for the celebration of the Mass.

The word used to describe the importance of ensuring opportunities for all to fully participate in the life and worship of the parish, each according to their abilities.

The stand or podium from which our readers (lectors), priest/deacon proclaim the Word of God, give the homily, read our intercessions, and where announcements are made.

The worship space where we gather for the celebration of Mass. It contains the baptistery, sanctuary (with the altar and ambo), the choir, and seating for the People of God. We used to call this the Centrum.

The greeting space, vestibule or foyer, just inside the church building. We used to call this the Commons. It is meant as a transition space as we move into the place of worship.

Priest/Presider's Chair
The chair from which the celebrant presides at Mass and other liturgical rites. It is usually located in the sanctuary, behind or to the side of the altar. 

The deacon’s bench is next to it, as well as seating for altar servers and visiting priest/celebrants.

Reconciliation Room
The private space provided in the church for the Sacrament of Penance, or Confession. It offers the choice of kneeling behind a screen, or facing the priest.

The sink basin or drain in the sacristy in which sacred materials are poured, such as the rinse water from cleaning the sacred vessels. It empties directly into the ground.

The space in the church where items used for worship (vestments, linens, vessels) are kept. It may also be used by the priest/deacon for vesting/dressing before Mass.

The space in the church/worship space reserved for the altar, ambo, and priest/presiders chair. It may also contain the tabernacle.

The structure or container in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.

The cups, chalices, bowls, and other containers used during the Mass, and to carry the Eucharist back to the tabernacle.

The clothing worn by the priest and the deacon during the celebration of the Mass and other liturgical rites. They are either green, white, red, and purple, or other colors appropriate to the season of the Church’s calendar.