San Antonio, Texas, Jan 11, 2019 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of San Antonio has collected over half of the funds for a campaign to construct new parish buildings in preparation for an expected population boom.
The “On the Way – ¡Ándale!” Capital Campaign, this is the first campaign the diocese has seen since 1955. It has raised over $40 million of the $60 million goal.
Construction on Mary, Mother of the Church parish could start as early as fall 2019. The church grounds will include a sanctuary, school, meeting hall, rectory, and sport complex.
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller blessed the grounds of the new parish Dec. 8. The parish grounds are located in west San Antonio.
The campaign is expected to establish eight parish communities throughout the archdiocese. The plan is for the parishes to be completed within 10 years.
The construction of new churches is rare, but the archdiocese is predicting a large increase in church-goers as San Antonio plans to see an increase in nearly 1 million people by 2040.
Don Meyer, general chair of the campaign, told KENS 5 that new facilities are required to compensate for the upcoming growth and the already over-populated parishes in the area, including his own parish, Holy Trinity.
“There’s a projected 200,000 new Catholics coming in the next ten years. To faithfully serve those parishioners, we will require new parishes, new and expanded schools to educate the youth to give them a faith-based education and renovation and expansion of existing parishes,” he said.
Donna Degenhardt, an attendant at the blessing ceremony, also told KENS 5 that a need for new parish facilities was desperately needed.
“We need this church in the worst way. It is so wonderful. We’re so excited and we can’t wait until it gets built!” she said.
According to the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Father Larry Christian, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, spoke to the attendees of ground blessing ceremony, highlighting the importance of the project.
“The On the Way – ¡Ándale! capital campaign – in many ways – is about building up the legacy of our founders and the many people who have helped establish the Catholic parishes, missions, schools, hospitals, colleges, service programs and spirit that is reflective of our archdiocese,” he said.