Buildings and grounds have undergone many changes this summer at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Northeast Portland.
New signage was placed above and around the parish school’s gym entrance, and the parish also completed the second phase of its Memorial Rose Garden with 120 rose bushes and granite benches.
The exterior of the church is getting a paint job for the first time since the 1980s, which will be finished in September. Indoors, the rectory and office building has been undergoing a year-long remodel, which included floors, furnishings, paint and light fixtures in the residential portion of the building, like the rooms inhabited by seminarians and visiting priests. Additionally the pastoral associate’s office was remodeled, which meant the removal of outdated orange ‘60s carpeting.
Next, the Madeleine will restore the now-vacant original 1912 church sanctuary into an event and meeting space. The original bell tower is still functional; neighbors are accustomed to hearing pastor Father Mike Biewend ring the bells to mark significant events, such as the election of Pope Francis. The parish received historic review approval from the City of Portland and Irvington Historical Association to complete portions of the overall restoration.
To protect the investment, the parish beefed up security.
School improvements were also part of the project, including custom bookshelves in the library and an art classroom remodel.