COLUMBUS - St. Bonaventure Catholic Church is continuing to move forward with a construction project that is years in the making.

Project 2020 broke ground this past May, and the church as been closed since mid-July due to the construction of new parking lots. Weekend mass has been held in the Scotus cafeteria since that point, and Project Leader Dennis Grennan and Father Michael Swanton say it has taken a tremendous effort to be able to smoothly make that transition.

"We are in a period of transition right now with having mass over at the Scotus High School, but that's quite honestly really working well," Grennan said.

"It has taken a lot of planning and preparation, and a lot of people to make mass go very smoothly over there, we're getting good numbers on the weekend, but folks are also going to the other two parishes," Swanton said. "I'm grateful for that because there are so many stairs that have to be navigated, so our older folks and people with knee problems are going to the other two parishes, and I'm very grateful for that."

Father Swanton says that having the other parishes in Columbus help out has been huge for St. Bonaventure, as there are a variety of different events and gatherings that they are not able to hold due to the construction.

"When we have weddings and funerals, obviously we can't use the church, so we have those in the other churches, and they've been very gracious in opening their doors for us," Swanton said.

Project 2020 calls for the construction of new parking lots, a new parish center, and a new narthex at the church. In the early stages of the process, parishioners were asked their opinions on the greatest needs for the church, with a new parish center being at the top of the list.

Father Swanton echoed those sentiments, saying that the increased space of the new parish center will be a major benefit for St. Bonaventure.

"Our old parish center had space for maybe 100 people, and when we had funeral luncheons we typically had to have everybody walk over to the school gym or the social hall, and that's not really a nice space," Swanton said. "Now we will have a dedicated space for those types of gatherings, not only for funeral luncheons, but also Bible studies and meetings of all different kinds."

Grennan says that St. Bonaventure is very happy with the project's timeline as it currently stands, and the hope is to get back into the church in the next few months.

"The main focus right now is on the parking lot and the narthex, and we are currently scheduled to get back into the church, at least on weekends, about mid-November," Grennan said. "Construction on the parish center will go on through the winter, and will be finished in June or July of 2020."