Dr. Stephen Cenedella often speaks fondly of his wife, Marie, who passed away in 2010. Through the Fox and Cenedella Endowment “Doc C” established in 2012, he and Marie continued to give generously in 2020 to their parish, Saint Patrick in Franklin. Because of his foresight and generosity, annual grants designated for Saint Patrick are available to the parish every year.

Doc developed a purpose statement for their endowment that represents their interests. Marie had a passion for historical preservation. They also understood the practical needs of the parish, so the endowment purpose covers both.

As he has done over the years, in 2019 Saint Patrick’s pastor, Msgr. John Herbein, placed half of the annual grant in the church building fund. In January 2020 that building fund contributed to the down payment for restoration work on the parish’s 1937 Tellers organ. Reflecting on Marie’s passion for historical preservation, Doc appreciates this use of the funds. “The sound of the renovated organ would be music to Marie’s ears.”

The other half of the 2019 grant was used to support students whose parents could not afford tuition for a Catholic education, and also for items needed for the kitchen at Cenedella Hall to make cooking and serving dinners easier.

Ronald W. Himes, office manager at Saint Patrick, acknowledges this financial support. “It is with grateful appreciation that Saint Patrick Parish was able to use the funds granted from the Fox and Cenedella Endowment in 2020 for Catholic education tuition assistance for students in need, and for materials used for entertaining in Cenedella Hall. Thank you for taking care of our parish, as you have in the past.”

Organ and Choir at Saint Patrick Parish, Franklin
Organ and Choir at Saint Patrick Parish, Franklin

Organ Maintenance is “Quite a Project”

Made by Tellers Organ Company of Erie over 80 years ago, the organ has served the parish well. While it has been kept in good condition, ongoing maintenance can be costly. For example, once the organ’s leathering wears out, there can be detrimental damage to the sounds of the organ. This is the issue being addressed in the current restoration.

The “leathers” are made of actual tanned leather and line the wind chests of the organ to seal in the air necessary to sound a pipe. They are also at the seat of each pipe and fit snuggly around the pipes so that air does not escape as the organ is played. As with all items made of leather, they eventually become brittle, and begin to deteriorate, leaving air, used to sound the organ pipes, to escape so the pipes will no longer sound.

In this restoration all of the organ’s pipes will be removed and re-leathered. The wind chests will also be re-leathered. With 1,900 pipes on this classic organ, this is quite a project!

Scheduled to begin in July 2020 and completed in 2021, this restoration is being conducted by Heritage Pipe Organ in New York. It will be done in half stages with the great rank of pipes being done in one set and the swell rank being done in one set. That way the parish is never without the instrument so it can continue to be used for Mass. As director of music and liturgy and parish office manager, Ronald Himes, has a keen interest in this effort noting that “it is the only instrument we use for Mass.”

The organ was last restored in 1999, as a part of the parish millennium celebration. Replacement parts, an updating of the electrical and mechanical components, and a general “going over” were all a part of the prior maintenance check, completed by the Fischer Organ Company of Erie, PA. One major part of the organ that did not need to be replaced in 1999 was the “leathers” of the organ, now being addressed in 2020.

This restoration is made possible through the generosity of the parishioners, with help from the Fox and Cenedella Endowment.

Bob Crowley, Msgr. Herbein, Dr. Cenedella, Ruthanne Beighley, Lisa Louis
Catholic Foundation board members Bob Crowley and Ruthanne Beighley and Executive Director Lisa Louis, join Dr. Cenedella in presenting Monsignor Herbein the 2019 grant check.

Encouraging Additional Gifts

Recognizing the value of endowments to the future of the Church in Franklin, Dr. Cenedella wanted to encourage others to give, especially with planned gifts in their wills. For this reason, he seeded a new endowment in 2019, Saint Patrick Parish Endowment, to provide support for the upkeep, maintenance and repairs of its church, school, rectory and property. Anyone can give to any endowments in the Catholic Foundation in any amount, at any time.

Ron reflects on the generosity of a faith-filled couple. “Dr. Cenedella has always been a good friend and benefactor of the parish. Marie was one of the sweetest women you ever knew. A wonderful woman.”

If you would like to donate to this endowment, or establish your own endowment, contact Lisa Louis at (814) 824-1237 or by email.

“The sound of the renovated organ would be music to Marie’s ears.”
— Dr. Stephen Cenedella, Donor
More Stories