The Church Today

The Church Today

Rev. Panneer Selvam came to the parish in 1998. A native of India, he brought a spirit of friendship to the people of Stayton. He continued with the listening sessions and as a result of those sessions, in 2001, it was decided to start a $4.5 million combined capital improvement campaign. The campaign had three benefactors: Regis High School, St. Mary Elementary and Immaculate Conception. The monies raised would increase the classroom space with the additions of four classrooms and a science room at St. Mary Elementary School, a student activities center with a stage and a well-equipped kitchen for Regis High School and a new Parish Center at Immaculate Conception Church. 

Father Paneer Selvam

The campaign was successful for the schools, but a Parish Center for the Church project was put “on hold”. With the monies raised that were dedicated for Immaculate Conception, a piece of property was purchased, a house was torn down and a much needed parking lot was created just across Santiam Street. Restricted funds for building a parish center of $198,000, were left for future use. This will be a great starting point for a new Parish Center campaign in 2015.
Father Selvam also took us through the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and created a parish pictorial directory. Many parts of the church were upgraded, including the interior solid wood doors that became a beautiful glass wall to view the Altar as soon as you came into the narthex.  
Father Steve Geer became the Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in 2008.  Raised a Presbyterian, he became Catholic in 1997 and was ordained in 2006.  He stayed for three years and worked on another major capital campaign for the schools and the Archdiocese. Having graduated as an accounting major, he was a great asset to the Parish and the two schools. Newly ordained Father Raul Marquez, joined Father Steve Geer as associated Pastor. Born in Abejorral, Columbia he was the perfect fit to continue building the Hispanic community at the parish. Upon his reassignment in 2012, Father Henry Guillen-Vega, ordained in 2010, came to Immaculate Conception Church.
Father Steve Geer
Father Raul Marquez

Father Ed Coleman
In 2011, Father Ed Coleman, fondly known as “Father Ed”, became the Pastor at Immaculate Conception Church Church. Born in 1952 and ordained 1986, he has been a lifelong resident of Oregon. A very reverent priest, he spent many hours riding a bike to and from the local towns to say Mass and visit the sick and elderly parishioners in their homes and  hospitals. He enjoys having many "cousins" in the area. 
Father Ed had prayed for a parish center since he arrived in Stayton. Parishioner Kim Koehnke heard the call and along with Julia Bochsler and the approval of Father Ed, they started a new Parish Center campaign in March 2015. As co-chairs they introduced "Gather Us In" to the parish in May 2015 and fundraising began. Members of the Parish Center campaign committee included: Pete Klosterman, Jane Lulay, Kathy McNulty, Mike Jaeger, Bonnie Tabor, Mike and Lisa Nielson, Ken Adams, Jeff Koehnke, and Audelia Suarez. The Architect on the project was Tim Brunner with Axis Design Group in Portland. Demolition of the convent started April 1, 2016 (the day after Easter) and contractor Triplett Wellman constructed the building which was completed on February 1, 2017. The new Parish Center was dedicated by Archbishop Sample on February 8, 2017.

 

The Blessing of the new Parish Center. Shown From Left to right: Rev. John Arcidiacono, Archbishop Alexander Sample, Deacon Geoff Schmitt, and Rev. Ed Coleman


 

The new grotto for the same statue of the Immaculate Conception

Original Building Contract:$2.38M Includes 125K for folding partitions

Exterior Improvements:$335K Site work, demo, asbestos removal, grotto hardscape, landscaping, turf, pavement and exterior lighting

Professional Fees:$310K Architects, engineering & permits  

Commercial Kitchen:$105K Appliances, counters, sinks, small wares and grease tank

Furnishings:$105K Office, reception, entry, fireside room and outside furniture, Holy Family statue, blinds and floor maintenance equipment  

Electronics:$70K Cameras, monitors, audio, door locks, door opener and, cell phone booster  

Building Maintenance Reserve: $150K Dedicated to extra costs for running the building

Extras: $105K Church narthex upgrade, garbage enclosure, handicap door actuator, bike racks, small awnings on church, grotto bathroom upgrades, extra venting

 Office/Administration:$10K Rent, stamps, mailings, kick off and opening events   

 In 2017,  Father Luan Nguyen was appointed as Pastor of Immaculate Conception along with its mission Saint Catherine, Mill City, and Our Lady of Lourdes parish, Jordan.  He came to the United States with his parents and six siblings and the family made their home in Oregon. He was admitted to Mount Angel Seminary in the year 2000, and was ordained on June 7, 2008. Father Luan’s focus is to guide and help his parishioners grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and to make those parishes under his pastoral care develop strong Catholic identities. He modernized the church's technology by allowing a facebook page, instagram,  twitter and online giving. 
Father Suresh Amalraj, from India, become the Parochial Vicar of Immaculate Conception Church in  2017, too. Before coming to United States, he was working in the field of Inter-Faith Relationship and Christian Unity for 17 years at Diocesan, Regional and National levels in his home country. Afterwards, he was working as principal and correspondent in the Diocesan English Medium School. Then, he was appointed Rector of the Diocesan Minor Seminary. At present, he is serving the Archdiocese of Portland.