By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Replacing the steps along 10th Street in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral and replacing the Plexiglas protective covering of the church’s stained glass windows are part of the sixth step of the Sacred Heart Cathedral vision.
“God rested on the seventh day, but at Sacred Heart Parish, the seventh step is at least resting from campaigns,” said Father Rich Adam, the cathedral’s pastor.
This final fundraising campaign tops off work that began at the cathedral in 2012. Father Adam said the big part of this final campaign is the Friends of Msgr. Marvin Mottet Window Fund. From now through the Christmas season, anonymous donors will match all gifts up to $100,000 pledged.
The donors told The Catholic Messenger that they had a long-lasting relationship with Msgr. Mottet who served at the cathedral from 1985 until his retirement from active ministry in 2005. “Over the years we experienced the holiness of Father Mottet, as he welcomed us into the Sacred Heart community at a time when one of us had left the church for a number of years. We want to recognize how much Father Mottet did for the entire community, not just the Sacred Heart community.”
The donors said when the cathedral was under renovation during the 1990s, “Father Mottet expressed several times the need to repair the windows.” That did not happen, now the window work can be completed in his honor.
Father Adam estimates the cost of the window project at $150,000. That would cover removal of the existing weathered Plexiglas, scraping and painting the wooden frames and installing quarter-inch laminate glass to protect the windows.
Two windows have already been redone, he noted. One is the rose window that faces 10th Street. The other is on the northeast side of the church. “You can see the difference both inside and outside the cathedral.” From the outside, the stained glass details in both of those windows are visible at day and night. The remaining windows are tinted yellow from age and obscure the stained glass. From the inside, the true colors in the redone windows show through the new, clear laminate glass. Light that is more natural shines through.
Father Adam reflected on the entire Sacred Heart Cathedral fundraising campaign. When Bishop Emeritus Martin Amos arrived in the Diocese of Davenport, he wanted to “bring the cathedral into the 21st century.” The bishop’s vision included handicap accessible entrances, restrooms and a gathering space.
With help from the diocesan capital campaign, step one provided for a new handicap-accessible entrance on the east side of the cathedral, dedicated in 2013. Step 2 provided for groundbreaking in 2016 and dedication in 2017 of a new diocesan hall. Step 3 covered demolition of the former Sacred Heart School in 2017. Step 4 provided for a new and larger, parking lot. Step 5 provided for a new roof for the cathedral following a strong storm with tornadic wind speeds. Insurance, grants and donations provided for tuck-pointing and bell tower repairs as well.
When the window project is done, “we will rest,” Father Adam said.