The FSPA gift reflects the importance the Sisters place upon this important symbol of Viterbo’s Catholic and Franciscan heritage.
The scope of the renovation work currently being discussed, which is estimated around $1 million, includes installing air conditioning, replacing electrical, lighting and sound systems, refurbishment of the stained glass windows, new interior finishes, exterior restorations, improving access for persons with disabilities, and repairing and lighting for the bell tower area.
While a renovation timeline has yet to be finalized, work on the project is likely to be done in phases. “The gift of the Sisters is a remarkable anniversary gift as the university plans its 125th celebration and the centennial anniversary of the founding of St. Wenceslaus Parish,” said President Rick Artman.
Throughout the years, 80 FSPA have ministered to the people of St. Wenceslaus Parish and approximately 220 have served at Viterbo. Sisters continue to join the Viterbo community for worship at San Damiano.
“This is a significant time for the university and for San Damiano,” said Eileen Lang, FSPA vice president. “During a time of celebration with the upcoming anniversaries, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past, and with the planned renovations, to look ahead to assure the future of San Damiano as a beautiful place of worship for generations to come.”
For Rochelle Potaracke, FSPA, improvements in San Damiano honor the legacy of many of the Sisters who worked at Viterbo and St. Wenceslaus. “The parish and the university have touched many lives and this FSPA gift honors the sacrifices and years of commitment to these ministries.”
As planning for the renovation of the chapel continues, Artman described the FSPA gift as “magnanimous.”
“This generous gift from the Sisters will provide substantial momentum to the restoration of San Damiano Chapel,” Artman said. “I am confident their gift will inspire other benefactors to support the project.”
“San Damiano has enormous importance in our Franciscan tradition and we are so pleased to be able to move forward with the renovation of the chapel,” Artman said. “On behalf of the university, I express heartfelt gratitude to our founders and sponsors. The FSPA continue to make a significant difference at Viterbo and within our community and we are blessed by their presence, their prayers, and their generosity.”