The Basilica Parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary :: A Roman Catholic Community in the Heart of the Hamptons

The In Nomine Domini Renewl

Preserving Our Heritage :: Building Our Future

Dear Parish Family,
For more than 100 years, the parish of the Sacred Hearts has been an important part of the community of Southampton. Since my arrival in 2012, I have felt warmly welcomed and I look forward to many years serving in this community. In my very first summer I asked parishioners to tell me what our goals might be over these next years. One area that was mentioned over and over again was to develop and maintain our beautiful church as a place of welcome.

The challenges of maintaining a historic church are great. It is not easy for any church these days, but for a relatively small congregation the demands of, not only upkeep, but of preservation and restoration are enormous. In the 1990s, our parish established a fund to help with these demands. We call it the In Nomine Domini Fund, dedicated to the preservation, improvement, and restoration of our church. At the present time, we need to add almost $1 million to this fund to help us with the needs described in this letter.

This summer I will be reaching out to parishioners and friends to help us with these tasks. We will be much more successful if I have the support of people like yourselves in this effort. I know you are among the most supportive and helpful members of this parish community; hence, I write to you today to ask if you would consider helping us.
If you are able to make a gift to help us with our needs, I would be most grateful. I would also welcome the
opportunity to meet you and discuss this in person or by telephone, if you so desire.
Regardless of your response, would you please keep us in your prayers and thoughts and know that you are always
welcome here.
Rev. Michael A. Vetrano, Pastor.

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Descriptions of our Projects and Costs

Heating and Cooling

When our parish undertook a substantial renovation of our beautiful church almost 25 years ago, a decision was made to forego the upgrade of our heating and cooling system. At the time there was concern that modernization, in particular air conditioning, would sacrifice the beauty of our building. This was certainly the case at the time when the only approach would have necessitated very visible air ducts in the building. But time and technology has changed quite a bit and what was once impossible is within reach. Between heat and humidity, summer can be a very uncomfortable time at Sacred Hearts. We have kept careful records over the past two years and we know that our attendance drops during the warmest days of summer. We are celebrating very few weddings in the
months of July and August when our church should be at its busiest. For those who do brave the warm temperatures the experience on these warm days is of much discomfort and the noise of our fans.
Solution: Present technology would make it possible to replace our radiators with air handler units that would both heat and cool our church. In a sense we would be simply replacing our radiators with these integrated heating / cooling units. The units could be wood finished, similar to the one shown here, and actually look quite a bit better than the radiators! Total cost for heating / cooling / new electrical $650K


The comfort of our parishioners and guests is important. Our church had become a destination for people from all
across our island and a frequent issue is the lack of rest rooms in our church. We have consulted an architect and it
would be easily possible to add rest rooms within the vestibules on the east and west front doors of our church. The
expansion needed would be minimal and barely noticeable outside the church. The total anticipated cost would be
about 75K.


Lighting is a major energy cost in our church. We need to upgrade our historic fixtures to use modern energy efficient systems (fluorescent and LED). We also need to examine the safety lighting outside our church. If you have ever come here in the evening or on winter afternoons you have probably noticed that our walkway and door lighting could be improved. Estimated cost: 50K

Bell Tower:

Our parish is blessed with four cast bells which call us to worship each week. These historic bells have been many years without the refurbishment of their ringing hardware. Originally the bells were actually swung – probably by a system of ropes! At some point electric strikers were installed. This system now needs to be renewed. First of all, the mountings for the bells have been corroded by our salt air and need to be replaced with new stainless hardware. The hardware itself is not expensive but the work of lifting and restoring bells is very specialized. As this work is done it makes sense to update the ringing system which currently is almost impossible to program. Total cost for these improvements: 60K

Pew Refinishing:

Our pews are truly part of our history at SHJM. They are over 100 years old and have accommodated our parishioners and some celebrities over these years. These days most parishes simply replace pews with new ones as they wear. But here they are part of our history and most parishioners would prefer that they be cleaned and renewed. Our pews were attended to in our last restoration with a process of sanding and applying a new coat of urethane. One can notice many areas where the urethane has worn or become scratched. It would be possible now to do a more comprehensive restoration. This would involve sanding, repairing, strengthening, and applying a furniture grade quality finish. This would make our pews beautiful for another 100 years! Cost: 75K


The carpet in our church is almost at the end of its useful life and it will need to be replaced as work is done to our pews and heating / cooling. Cost will be about 45K.