Fr. John Renggli
FR. JOHN RENGGLI
Father John arrived in July of 1984. His first efforts were to establish a finance cabinet and work with the school board, school staff, and the Parent Teacher Association in promoting the school. Shortly after his arrival, Father was notified that because of the shortage of priests, he should not expect the appointment of an associate pastor in the foreseeable future. Undaunted by this development, Father John organized a Youth Choir, which presented special concerts in the Fall and at Christmas, initiated parish picnics at Lynndale Park, the Renew Program, Feed My Sheep, and organized the Young Marrieds' Group. In addition, the Grief Ministry, the Mothers' Support Group, and the Young Adults Groups were organized.
Father John would often telephone parishioners in late evening asking them to serve on a committee or perform special tasks for the parish. As a result, many of the activities were enthusiastically carried out by inspired, dedicated, parishioners on an "asked for" volunteer basis. The addition of a lay Pastoral Associate Kathleen Kichline in 1987 aided immensely in coordinating these groups.
By the Spring of 1990, the parish had grown to include over 1500 families, which put a strain on the available facilities. Father John formed an Ad Hoc Committee to meet with all parish organization to study space requirements and future needs. After identifying needs, and various alternatives to meet these needs, a questionnaire was prepared and distributed to the parish for a vote. The overwhelming consensus was to build a multipurpose facility, which would provide additional space for meetings, parish organizations, and the school. A fund raising campaign was conducted, and after sufficient funds were pledged, a steering committee was formed to begin the long, tedious process of planning a facility to meet all the space requirements identified. The architect and general contractor were named, and the building process begun. The new building would include meeting rooms for parish organizations, a library, science classroom, and computer classroom for the school a nursery, music room, and a large multipurpose meeting room. Ground breaking took place May 2, 1994 with Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy officiating, Father John Renggli and Joseph Doogan assisting, and a large assembly of parishioners present to turn a shovelful of gravel. The new 12,500 square square foot building, constructed at a cost of $1,680,000, was named the St. Thomas More Community Center by a vote of the parishioners, and dedicated on January 8, 1995 by Archbishop Murphy.