Participants in the first wave of the Alive in Christ Campaign 9 years ago at Resurrection Parish in Lakeland are now celebrating with the start of a construction project that is the realization of a longtime dream.
Not one – but two groundbreaking ceremonies were held, May 18 at the school and May 29 at the parish. Bishop John Noonan was in attendance for both ceremonies as he blessed the project and turned over dirt. The originally designed (two-story) building 9 years ago was modified to be one, big, single story, 19,000 sq. ft. building, under one roof, that would not only house parish offices but would also expand the existing Parish Center for major sit down parish & school functions, dinners, events, and fundraisers. Also included in the project is a major remodeling and updating of the existing Parish Center as well.
“Given the peripheral, confusing, current location of the parish offices and the smallness of the Parish Center, we know that we are missing many vital opportunities to minister to our people and visitors, as well as provide adequate outreach because we’re growing faster than our buildings can accommodate,” said Father Charles Viviano, pastor.
The construction is expected to last 9 months. Once completed, the pastoral team will be more centrally located on the campus adjacent to the church, rather than at its current location which is on a remote section of the large property, making it difficult to find.
Built in 1975, the current Parish Center, which doubles as a cafeteria and auditorium for the school, will receive a new ceiling, new flooring and paint, updated lighting for the stage, an improved sound system, a remodeled kitchen and a few other enhancements.
The new addition will be an ideal space for a planned nursery as well as meeting areas for funerals, First Communions, wedding receptions, dinner functions, choir rehearsals and other special ceremonies. There will also be a multipurpose meeting room available for Bible studies and other smaller ministry gatherings.
“With over 2,000 families and 80+ active Ministries, we find ourselves going off property to rent space for functions, meetings and events because all of our space is either too small or already booked,” commented Father Ivan Olmo, parochial vicar.
At both of the Groundbreaking Events, participants commented, “It’s long overdue,” “It’s necessary,” and “We can’t wait for it to be finished.” One of the guests who witnessed the event said, “It will be like having a new baby for the Church.”