Projects underway at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

The organ resoration, re-build and enlargement have begun at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

A complete restoration, re-build and enlargement of the pipe organ at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is underway – a project that has been in the planning stages for over 10 years.

Workers from Schantz Pipe Organ Co. from Orrville came to dismantle the organ and transport to their facility about two weeks ago, Fr. Joseph Szybka, of St. Joe’s Church, said.

The initial fundraising for the project started about 10 years ago and since then has raised over $600,000.

The rebuild of the organ is to be done within the body of the church, Szybka said. This is to be a better environment for the organ that is going to give the it protection from certain temperatures and moisture.

The project includes a new sold state switching system for the organ and a transposer and MIDI-capability.

Szybka said Schantz workers are to preserve most of the original pipework from the church’s original 1935 Wicks organ and from the previous enlargement from 1975 – which was done by Schantz.

Szybka said the organ is to just be rebuilt in a new configuration.

“The organ was in need of an upgrade and update,” he said. “We hope we can continue to use this for years to come.”

The organ is built in four divisions – the swell, the great, the choir and the pedal.

In addition, 10 new ranks of pipes are to be installed, which is to also include an 8-foot Trompette en Chamade to be installed horizontally on the choir loft railing, Szybka said.

The completion of the project is to be in time for the church’s 175th anniversary of the founding of the parish in 2020.

“This will be a gift from the Parish to the Parish for future generations,” Szybka said.

Szybka said the estimated completion date is Feb. 1, 2020, but tthe church hoping to have the project done by Christmas masses.

“This is a real exciting time,” Szybka said.

Upcoming event at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

A harp/piano recital by 18 year old harpist Nathan Hay is being planned for 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph Church as a benefit recital for the Organ Restoration Fund. All in the community are invited to this summer recital in the air-conditioned church. A free-will offering is to be taken, followed by refreshments.