Artist rendering of the new family life center under construction in Leipsic
LEIPSIC - Groundbreaking for a parish life center at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Leipsic was held Aug. 18. Four families, each representing four generations, joined Bishop Leonard Blair and Rev. George Wenzinger as they turned the dirt for the facility.
"This was to represent our theme of "Building on Generations of Service," said Rev. Wenzinger.
The parish center will include four meeting rooms, offices, a kitchen area with a service area, and a multi-purpose room.
Lou Ann Noon, church secretary, said they started a feasibility study for the center in 2009.
"We had talked about it before, saying someday we would like to build a parish center," she said.
Once the feasibility study was complete along with price estimates, Bishop Blair gave his approval for the parish center in mid-July.
The campaign steering committee, the finance and pastoral councils began to meet to plan and implement the efforts needed to start construction.
The first item completed was to clear out the property on the north sacristy side of the church, removing Maria House, the old garage,, the trees and bushes to create a new parking lot.
"We are building this on the generations who built the church," Rev. Wenzinger said. "It is a much needed facility for all of the people in the parish."The parish will provided needed space for youth activities, physical education, school plays, adult activities, social recreation, and senior citizen activities.
"Now we have a gym in the school that is on the third floor and our area for social gatherings is in the school basement," Noon explained. "Having to use the stairways is very difficult for many people." the new facility will be connected to the church and totally handicap accessible.
The parish was started in Leipsic 140 years ago. The current church building was constructed in 1957.
"They built the church with the foresight to serve many future generations," Rev. Wenzinger said."Now we are building the parish center to serve many future generations."
The capital campaign underway is for $1.8 million.