- The building, renovating, or restoration of a place of worship is a unique opportunity for the renewal of a parish’s faith and liturgical life. This important work is more than an architectural solution to a spatial need or an exercise in building maintenance; rather, it will have a direct impact on the celebration of the liturgy as the central action in the life of a Catholic community. Parishes and other institutions (e.g., schools, healthcare facilities, and retreat centers) planning the construction, renovation, or restoration of a church or chapel should consult the archdiocesan Financial Policies and Procedures Manual for guidance regarding the proposal and approval processes for these projects. This information is summarized below:
In the Archdiocese of New York, the following principles apply to the construction, renovation, and restoration of places of worship:
1. The Vicar General must approve the concept.
2. Both the project management firm [PMF] (ARAMARK or Zubatkin) and the archdiocesan Office of Liturgy must be contacted for all projects that involve any change, modification, or addition to a church or chapel, regardless of the cost involved.
1. At the inception of the project, regardless of size or cost, the pastor/administrator should notify the PMF of his intent to modify a worship space. The PMF will assist the pastor/administrator in submitting a letter of request to the Vicar General’s Office. In the letter, the pastor/administrator should describe the proposed change(s) and the purpose of the change(s).
2. After receiving approval from the Vicar General, the pastor/administrator should meet with the PMF and the Office of Liturgy to develop the RFA and review the construction and liturgical aspects of the project.
3. Schematic designs should then be completed and presented to the Office of Liturgy for review and approval via an RFA. The Office of Liturgy is assisted by the archdiocesan Liturgical Art and Architecture Commission in this process. This submitted portfolio should include a proposed floor plan of the existing and planned space, a drawing of all relevant liturgical appointments, an elevated drawing of the sanctuary and reredos, and a description of the liturgical change(s) to the worship space and the purpose of the change(s).
4. Upon receipt of the schematic designs, the Office of Liturgy will typically arrange a site visit and complete a report with its observations and recommendations.
5. Once approval has been given, any subsequent modifications to the schematic designs should be resubmitted to the Office of Liturgy and the PMF using the same procedure.
Questions may be directed to the archdiocesan Director of Property Management or the Office of Liturgy.