Parish dedicates school addition in honor of retired pastor
By R. Paige Kettner
SHERWOOD -- Members of St. John-Sacred Heart Parish were on hand Sunday, Oct. 7, for dedication of their school addition, named in honor of their retired pastor of 34 years, Fr. Ken Frozena.
Fr. Frozena was joined by current pastor, Fr. Philip Dinh-Van-Thiep for Mass, followed by the dedication ceremony.
The $1.2 million project began in July 2002 with a planning and fund-raising committee that proposed building a gymnasium with shower/locker room facilities and kitchen and commons areas. Ground broke in August 2003 and the entire addition was complete and ready for use by December 2004.
With an approximate balance of $102,000 yet to satisfy, parishioners are gifting "matching dollars" up to $60,000 in hopes of repaying the project indebtedness by July 2008.
"This is a very special building to us all," project co-chair, Lori Nackers said. "Fr. Ken was such a school supporter for all those years. ... He was so adamant about not closing this community school. He felt the need to have a gym and cafeteria facilities to maintain student population and encourage new families to join the church and school.
"The addition will be named the Fr. Ken Frozena Center, which encompasses the gym that has been dedicated to past graduate and volleyball coach, Teresa Halbach," added Nackers. "Both were angels in our midst."
Prior to the building addition, students walked two blocks down Clifton Road to the Village office complex for physical exercise class and sports activities. The new building keeps the parish under one roof, said committee member Jim Rath.
"We were busting at the seams and needed the space. The multi-purpose area was necessary to sustain growth of our thriving congregation. The facilities are state-of-the-art and used by all grades for lunch programs, funeral lunches and parish outreach activities, CCD classes and adult education classes," said Rath. "This addition is a credit to Fr. Frozena in the vision he had for our parish."
Fr. Frozena became pastor of St. John Catholic Church in 1971. In 1974, he also became pastor of Sacred Heart. He retired in 2005 and is now serving as sacramental minister for St. Edward Parish in Mackville.
Throughout his years of service, he held a vision for the future of Sherwood supporting it as a growing, economic development for new families coming to a rural area who were looking for high quality parochial education for their children.