St. Patrick’s Parish in Salt Lake City lays the foundation stone for a new religious education center

Friday 10th Dec 2021

IC Photo / Laura Vallejo

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From left: Father Anastasius Iwuoha, administrator of the parish of St. Patrick; Monsignor Terrence J. Fitzgerald, Vicar Emeritus General; Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw, Vicar General; Bishop Oscar A. Solis and Deacon George Reade, Chancellor, break the ground for the new St. Joseph Center, which will be used for religious education.

By Laura Vallejo

Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY – “After many months of prayer and hard work by so many members of St. Patrick’s Parish, we gather today to bless this ground.” These were the first words Bishop Oscar A. Solis said at the groundbreaking ceremony for the the community’s new religious education center in downtown Salt Lake City said.

Construction of the new St. Joseph Center will begin shortly; The aim is to be ready by the end of next year.

The building will have adjustable walls so that the large central room can be divided into four rooms if necessary.

“We wanted it to be a versatile space,” said Anthony Martinez, the ward’s religious education director and youth ministry director.

The groundbreaking December 1 event will kick off “not just construction, but also a kick-off for public outreach and fundraising efforts” the community is doing to make the religious education center a reality, Martinez said.

The new center will replace the building badly damaged by the earthquake on March 18, 2020. The parish church and rectory were also damaged by the 5.7 magnitude earthquake, but they could be repaired. However, the building, which was used for both religious education and social gatherings, was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished.

But now “this new St. Joseph Hall is a blessing. We pray that the beauty of this hall will bring us the intercession of St. Joseph, ”said Pastor Anastasius Iwuoha.

The new building will become a reality thanks to the efforts of the parish, said Bishop Solis when he asked Fr. Iwuoha for the partnership and cooperation of the parishioners “to make this dream come true”.

In the coming months, the community will start various fundraising campaigns to finance the construction project.

The parish of St. Patrick is a place where everyone is welcome, “where everyone can be close to God. Every time we do something for the Church, you feel great. It’s time we gave something to our communities, ”said Lutty Bahi, who raised $ 30,000 to be used on community repairs.

He hoped everyone would get involved and contribute to the new St. Joseph Center, he said.

“We have to help where we can,” said Larry Martinez, who has been a St. Patrick parishioner for more than 30 years and chairs the building committee. “We need to wake everyone up so we can all contribute.”

One of the most wonderful things about St. Patrick is “that we have and see the living stones who build the Church, the members of your parish who continue to actively live their faith,” said Bishop Solis. “It is a joy to see their vitality and their love for God and the Church.”

NS. Iwuoha asked everyone to “please listen to the call of God and help us make this building a reality.”

“The Lord has given us all we have and now is the time to give back,” added Martinez.

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