Building with a Vision
We hope to celebrate our 135th anniversary in 2017 by completing an ambitious project with three elements: the historic repair and renovation of our treasured frontier era church along with a comprehensive remodeling of our first floor which will address its serious limitations and safety issues; the construction of an 6,500 square foot building which will be home to a parish hall and conference center; and the establishment of a permanent endowment fund to ensure long-term viability
This project will be executed by a highly talented team under the direction of Adam Hermanson, the owner of Integration Design Group, a firm dedicated to serving the Church through architectural excellence, in partnership with Charles Cunniffe, of Charles Cunniffe Archtects in Aspen, who is highly regarded for his successful historic restorations and iconic architectural projects throughout Aspen and beyond. The execution of their designs will be the responsibility of Evergreene Architectural Arts, the premier architectural arts firm in the country. Saint Mary’s Church is a treasure and deserves the highest quality design and workmanship available.
The Parish Pavilion
It is the construction of a Pavilion building attached to the historic church that will have the most profound impact upon the future growth and vitality of the Catholic Church in Aspen. This building has been designed with a dual purpose in mind, serving as a parish hall on a day-to-day basis while also functioning as a modern conference center. Why is this conference capacity so important to our future?
The most exciting development in the Church in the United States is the growth of communities, institutes and movements dedicated to equipping Catholics to be passionate believers in Jesus Christ, fully engaged in the work of the new evangelization. It’s our conviction that the Catholic community of Aspen will be transformed and energized to the extent that we bring to this beautiful place the leadership conferences, retreats and seminars that these dynamic institutes provide.
The people of Aspen already have access to the best of secular thought through the world renowned Aspen Institute. It will be the mission of Saint Mary’s to make available to parishioners the best of Catholic thought and formation that is currently available in the United States. Aspen needs the Catholic Church, the vitality of which depends upon the formation of passionately believing Catholics who are committed to leading their children and community to God.
Our ‘Catholic Institute’ would also exist to evangelize those who come from around the world to experience Aspen. It’s our desire that this area be known not only as a destination for outstanding skiing and culture but as a destination for formation in the best of Catholic spirituality and theology. In this way, Saint Mary’s seeks to enter into the mission of the new evangelization, serving the Church both in Aspen and beyond. We have already begun this work through programs such as Eagle Eye and the fruits, especially among young professional adults, have been most encouraging. If we are to expand our efforts, the ‘Institute’ needs a permanent home, the Pavilion will fill this need.
As we prepare to celebrate the 135th anniversary of the founding of Saint Mary’s Parish and the 125th anniversary of the completion of our beautiful church, we ask God to guide and bless our lives in his service: