Awards honor Vogt, St. Stanislaus - Catholic Courier

Awards honor Vogt, St. Stanislaus

One man and one congregation from the Diocese of Rochester have done landmark jobs in recent years.

Just ask the Landmark Society of Western New York.

In December, the society recognized a dozen outstanding preservation efforts in western New York. Among the winners was E. Robert Vogt, who received a special citation for his documentation of church buildings throughout the Diocese of Rochester. The congregation of St. Stanislaus Parish in Rochester received a special-achievement award for the restoration of their church. Meanwhile, Henry Swiatek, a restoration artisan from Alden, which is located near Buffalo, was given the society’s first-ever Craftsman Award for his role in restoring St. Stanislaus.

Vogt, retired director of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, is a volunteer with the Rochester Diocese’s archives, located at the Pastoral Center in Gates. Vogt said he has been overseeing the photographic documentation of churches, chapels and other diocesan buildings for more than a decade. Vogt’s commendation from the Landmark Society noted that “this challenging volunteer project … eventually would take him to 12 counties and 207 sites to photograph churches, chapels and oratories. As part of this unique project, he also documented the pipe organs that are still in use in many of these buildings.” The society also noted that in the late 1990s, Vogt coordinated a major part of the Erie Canal Legacy book project for the Landmark Society, driving hundreds of miles throughout the state visiting canal communities. The award also noted that Vogt has worked on organizing a collection of architectural drawings and specifications for buildings in the diocese.

Vogt, who will turn 84 in April, said he loves staying active in archival work.

“You’ve got to have a good reason for getting yourself out of bed in the morning and have things to keep your mind and your body active,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kathy Urbanic, campaign chairwoman for the St. Stanislaus restoration campaign, noted that this is the third time the Landmark Society has honored her parish for its restoration efforts, which began in the early 1990s. She added that the parish was “thrilled” that Swiatek was also recognized, and noted that the landmark society’s honor denotes the importance of St. Stanislaus Church, which is the center of Rochester’s Polish Catholic community.

“It really acknowledges the significance of the building architecturally and historically,” she said of the award.

According to Urbanic, almost 1,000 individuals and families — from three continents, four countries and 20 states — contributed to the restoration campaign, which raised more than $800,000. More than 35 organizations also donated to the effort. The parish held fundraisers and received memorial gifts, she said, noting that the parish also procured $54,200 in grants.

The campaign enabled the parish to make extensive repairs to the church, including fixing its tower; replacing the roof; repairing and replacing gutters and downspouts; painting exterior wood surfaces; repairing windows; making electrical repairs and improvements; replacing the cupola and tower domes; and fully restoring the church’s interior artwork.

Receiving yet another award will also help the parish attract future grants if more work is needed, Urbanic said.

“It’s a wonderful thing on our parish resum{e-acute},” she said.

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