Church in need of restoration looks for community support

Published: Feb. 7, 2018 at 9:41 PM CST
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St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church near 19th and Dodge Street is 115 years old. It's in need of repair. From the outside you can look at the roof and see it needs attention.

The church is a big part of the Omaha community and it's trying to raise nearly $740,000 to pay for the restoration project. Mary Carnazzo and John Arndorfer have attended St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church for many years.

"I’ve been going to church here since I was in college which was a while ago and my husband we decided to get married we knew this was the right place for us to get married,” said Mary.

John and Mary have attended the church as a family since then, over the years the couple has noticed that the church was in need of repair.

“The church itself has increasingly been showing its age and its needs. There’s been a number of problems that have occurred from time to time probably in increasing regularity,” said John.

St. Mary Magdalene Church was rebuilt in 1920 and the wear and tear is beginning to show. Major roof restoration is needed, along with new iron work and new gutters. Work crews already have their equipment in place.

"We've had some over the years water damage in the church and some of the structure between the roof and the ceiling - you know where the beams are - and so forth have been compromised because of the water damage,” Father Rodney said.

The church will remain open and functional during this renovation. That will allow Mary and John and others to continue to worship here while this historic church gets a much needed face lift.

"It's a unique parish in that it draws all across Omaha people come from west Omaha people come from Council Bluffs and everybody has a different story as to why it means a lot to them. I think it’s incredibly important that it stay a staple an anchor for our church community,” said Mary.

If you'd like to help with the restoration,

or call (402) 342-4807.