“We’re fortunate that there was not a collapse of the roof,” said David Meier, Director of the Diocesan Office of Construction and Real Estate. “It definitely would fall down eventually.”
The failure of the trusses, triangular wood structures that support the roof, was identified early last month by Father Ed Gomez, Pastor, after a support beam below one truss was seen as visibly split. Further investigation determined that several other trusses in the church had failed, Meier said.
The cause could be additional weight put on the trusses by air conditioning ducts or lighting that have been added to the church since it was built in 1950 said Meier, adding that heavy winds and rain could have also created the additional stress on the roof that lead to the truss failure.
At press time, the parish was still awaiting a recommendation from a structural engineer of how to best repair the damage. Meier estimated that the church will be closed for several months. In the meantime, Masses are being held in the parish hall with overflow accommodations in the courtyard outside. Weddings and funerals are being moved to parishes nearby such as St. Paul the Apostle and St. Margaret Mary.