St. Peter Catholic Church

Project Details


St. Peter Catholic Church


Douglas, MI


13,800 square feet



In 2018, St. Peter Catholic Church and Progressive AE produced a vision plan for the growth of their campus. Split into three future phases, this project completed the first phase of the vision plan. Up until now, the church lacked a chapel, and a dedicated space for parishioners to gather both indoors and outdoors. The church wanted to take advantage of their natural surroundings with the new addition as well as refresh their existing worship building. While holding onto many traditional elements, the church wanted their building to create a greater emphasis on community-building within their own parish, with their local sister parish, and the general public.

Gathering Space
Progressive AE designed a beautiful new gathering space and hospitality area overlooking Kalamazoo Lake. Strategically placed clerestory and full glass walls create a space that is filled with natural light and celebrates the beauty of the surrounding creation. The addition of clear glass to the existing stained-glass elements allows the church to celebrate its history while promoting greater transparency and hospitality to the wider community. Upon entry, the glass vestibule and canopy frames a view through the gathering space and out to Kalamazoo Lake.


In addition to the new gathering space, the church added a chapel overlooking a prayer garden. As daily mass is very well attended at this church, having a chapel also allows the church to offer a more intimate setting for prayer and small weddings or funerals. According to the church website, “The Chapel provides a peaceful and uplifting environment for daily Mass, Sunday Rosary, Liturgy of the Word for Children, and quiet personal prayer.”

Worship Space
The worship space of St. Peter Catholic Church welcomed a refresh to attract and retain a new generation of families joining the parish. Liturgical art became accessible and on display in the renovation, including a candle area, walk in baptismal font, centered location for the tabernacle, and a new altar and ambo. The new font ties back to the church’s namesake, evoking the simple fishing boat from which Peter was called by Jesus.
Ramps were added leading from the sacristy and choir area to the platform for accessibility, and the platform itself was lowered to bring liturgical elements closer to the people. What was a non-functioning choir area, now has been acoustically altered so the choir area can be heard and seen by the congregation.

Project Completion
Upon completion in July 2021 of the first phase to the St. Peter Catholic Church Vision Plan, the church is now activated with the proximity and functionality of the new gathering space and refreshed worship space. They are able to celebrate their natural surroundings both in gathering and worship, as well as outdoors. Progressive AE will be working alongside St. Peter Catholic Church for the future phases as we transition to creating a prayer garden that is accessible to all.