ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

OPINION: Church made tough decision the right way

While we're usually reserved about razing historic buildings, we recognize that sometimes it needs to be done. That's why we applaud Mitchell's City Council for also recognizing that with two recent demolition approvals, one for the Holy Family C...

While we're usually reserved about razing historic buildings, we recognize that sometimes it needs to be done. That's why we applaud Mitchell's City Council for also recognizing that with two recent demolition approvals, one for the Holy Family Catholic Church rectory and the other for the Goodykuntz House at 205 N. Duff St.

Much has been said about the Goodykuntz House already, so we won't expound further, other than to note we empathize with the house's owner-but do support the council's decision to demolish the property.

What we're more impressed with is Holy Family Catholic Church, and how it made the undoubtedly hard decision to say goodbye to its historic rectory, which was built in the 1920s. The rectory once served as the home to the parish's priests, until the church purchased a new building east of its campus in recent years.

We weren't part of the behind-the-scenes process to make this decision, but the church presented a decidedly unified front to the council. Dean Uher, who spoke to the council Tuesday on behalf of the church, said the demolition has unanimous support from parishioners.

He said the church raised about $3 million since 1999, when a review of the church's grounds found the rectory and the church in dire need of repairs. In the years since, though, most of that $3 million has gone to renovate the church.

ADVERTISEMENT

Uher presented extensive documentation and research to the council-approximately 70 pages worth-noting that tearing down the rectory seemed like the church's only feasible option.

We're glad that $3 million went to renovate the church building, for a couple of reasons. Practically speaking, the church building serves more people than the rectory. On a more personal note, it's a beautiful building, and has been a part of Mitchell's landscape since it was built in 1906. It would have been a shame to watch it fall into disrepair.

In a perfect world, the church would have been able to dedicate enough resources to save the rectory as well. But since it couldn't, we're pleased to see all parties come together to reach a peaceable and appropriate solution.

Items like this too often become heated, contentious and downright petty when people disagree on how to handle a situation. People tend to be sentimental about historic buildings, particularly if those buildings are attached to a symbol of their faith or childhood-like a church.

It's easy to see an alternate ending to this story, where a battle to save brick-and-mortar could tear a church apart. And that would be far more tragic than losing a historic structure.

Because ultimately, the point of church is its people, not its buildings. We applaud the people of Holy Family for recognizing that.

What To Read Next
People claim to hate big government, its intrusiveness, the entire tax system, overregulation of businesses and further loss of confidence in it following the pandemic ...
When it became obvious Mexico meant what it had been saying for two years, the U.S. agbiz network kicked into hyperdrive ...
During last winter (21-22) they should have let a lot more water go down the river all winter long. It might have prevented the flooding.
As things were, once we had paychecks in hand, we carved out money for rent, groceries, the laundromat and the Sunday collection plate.