OVIEDO | In a heroic effort to begin construction on two new buildings, parishioners of Most Precious Blood Parish in Oviedo raised the necessary funds to get the project started in little more than one month. Groundbreaking on July 10 began with a traditional Eucharistic procession from the sanctuary to the new Parish Office and Ministry Center site.
Most Precious Blood Parish was bursting at the seams almost from the day it opened on April 24, 2005 and the parish desperately needed permanent office space and rooms for faith formation. Present for the special event was Bishop Stephen Parkes of the Diocese of Savannah. As founding pastor of the parish he said, “I have great memories of this parish. I was asked to facilitate the growth of this community and I think we did that and did it well in those years.” He was grateful to return and see the parish “alive and well and flourishing”. Harkening to his days as pastor, he addressed parishioners and guests. “We spoke very often in those early years of planting seeds of faith. I think those seeds have been planted. The plants are growing. They’re being nurtured, nourished, over the years and they will continue to be long into the future. They are blooming, blossoming. Something very beautiful for our God.”
Parochial Administrator Father Joshua Swallows, a former parishioner, recalled his home parish’s humble beginnings when he was a seminarian while serving as the lay minister for the campus ministry at the University of Central Florida, just down the street. He credited his community for making the new building possible. “I am so filled with gratitude today,” he said. “This was a difficult year for everyone, but a project like this doesn’t happen without many people saying yes to God in a profound way.” He explained how, in the face of a pandemic, the parish faced increasing bills, “…and still, we are building! Praise God!” He added, “It is an experience that has been humbling, and at the same time filled me with hope and excitement for all the ways the Lord will bless our parishioners for their sacrifice.” The new administration building will have 12 offices, meeting room, reception area, kitchen, restrooms, and storage area. The buildings share a common (covered) walkway with a ‘Tower’ feature connecting offices to six classrooms with movable partitions for added flexibility. Completion is scheduled in late Spring 2022.
By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic, July 15, 2021