Twenty years ago when this church of St. Anthony’s was built, there was a long-term plan in the design that would allow for future expansion from a church that seats 800 to a church that seats 1200.  It may seem surprising given how large the church seems especially at weekday Masses.  Obviously, a 1200-seat church wasn’t deemed necessary 20 years ago, but it was thought that one day it might be desirable.  We already put extra chairs out every summer for our busier lake season. 

In those old designs there were also sketches of a smaller daily Mass chapel.  Churches that seat 1200 really feel inappropriate for small liturgies that involve less than 50 people.  You can see parishes in our region like St. Patrick’s in Laurie and Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Ozark that have and utilize smaller chapels when the main church would seem too large and empty for a small number. 

I mention these facts in preparation for a parish survey that we will be conducting this summer to gain your input regarding various ideas that have been suggested to the Parish Council.  As we look to develop a plan for renovating our church before its 25th anniversary, we will use a preliminary survey to gauge public interest of these and other suggestions to determine what ideas remain on the table.