SAN ANTONIO – Sacred Heart Church, a familiar landmark built on the city’s West Side in 1963, was showing its age.
The Rev. Frederic Mizengo said the wooden pews at the Catholic Church had become a liability issue, saying they were cracked and splintered.
“They were in bad shape,” Mizengo said.
So was the floor and bathrooms. Also in need was new security fencing to replace the battered chain-link fence, which was a security problem. Some parishioners reported being approached by strangers believed to be homeless and some syringes were found.
“It was an uncomfortable situation,” said Perry Cross, project supervisor for the renovation.
The retired Army veteran from Detroit said he quickly volunteered after he was asked by former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros to oversee the work.
Cross’s wife, Lucrecia, is the former mayor’s executive assistant.
A longtime parishioner himself at Sacred Heart, Cisneros brought what was needed to the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He then chaired the fundraising efforts for the renovations.
"The renovations were important for the morale of the parishioners," Cross said.
Cross said they could find hope in the progress that was made “during the most trying times in America today.”
However, being that Sacred Heart is on the West Side, money was an issue.
“We don’t have enough income. We had to go to the Archdiocese to take a loan," Mizengo said.
But the $200,000 loan at 2% interest will need to be paid back.
"It would be a blessing to have some donations," said Lisa Martinez, who is helping oversee the fundraising efforts.
Mizengo said many of his parishioners have helped however they can, not just financially.
“We know that many people have helped us, people of goodwill," he said.
Anyone wanting to make a donation to help cover costs for the project can send a check to:
Sacred Heart Church Renovation Project
454 Soledad St Suite 300
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Attn: Lisa Martinez/Claudia Vasquez