Dear St. Olav parishoners,
St. Olav Cathedral in Trondheim has been deconsecrated. The building is a miserable sight, and the demolition will begin as soon as Håkon Bleken’s altar-wall has been removed.
You all know the background story: The church was poorly constructed and could only be saved by investing very large sums of money. It was also too small, and not many felt emotionally attached to it. The congregation has grown from a few hundred when the church was completed in 1973, to more than 6000 today, and there are no indications that the growth will stop.
It has not been easy to plan the new church. We have a limited area on which to build. The land must be utilized effectively to make room for everything we need and the local council has imposed certain requirements on the design. Some of us might have wished for a more traditional building, but I think we will have a graceful and holy interior and a dignified exterior. We are now working on the church furnishings and colour scheme, and these plans will be presented to the parish as soon as they are ready. The architect’s drawings show an empty and bare room – but we will fill this with attractive decorations.
The estimates indicate that the church, with apartments, offices, meeting and teaching rooms etc.,will cost around 100 million NOK. It is a large but not impossible sum. The parish and diocese have been saving, and foreign benefactors – especially in Germany – are generous. A few individuals in Trondheim and Oslo have promised to give as much as possible. In addition we have to accept some loans.
However, it is neither possible nor desirable to build the church without the support of the faithful from the congregation and the diocese, and we have calculated with your help in carrying the financial burden.
We do not ask for large amounts from each of you, but there are many Catholics who can help share the burden. It would indeed be sad if the church was financed entirely from external sources, since it is you who will be using it. This is where you will celebrate mass on Sundays and Holy Days, where your children will be baptized and confirmed, where we will all pray together at the major events in life.
When I, in the not too distant future, will conclude my duties to Trondheim Diocese, I would be exceedingly pleased to be able to say: Here the faithful have done what could reasonably be expected of them to build a church worthy of God.
Some of you already pay a set sum per month via your bank account, or give your support in other ways. This request is not aimed at you. However, if we know how many additional supporters we can count on for a monthly or annual amount it would be of great help to us. A fixed sum of kr. 50 or more should be possible for most of you. If you pay via «avtalegiro» (a set sum per month automatically drawn from your bank account), you will be eligeble for tax refund on the total sum up to kr. 16.000 per year. If you need help with this, the parish or diocese office will be happy to help you.
It is a joy for me to meet you every time I am in Trondheim and I pray for God’s blessing on you all.
+Bernt I. Eidsvig
Apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Trondheim
Trondheim, Whit Sunday 2014.