Archbishop names and blesses ground of new parish site as part of the On the Way - ¡Ándale! Capital Campaign
Mary, Mother of the Church Catholic Parish announced Dec. 8
The Archdiocese of San Antonio has begun preparations for the latest project of the On the Way – ¡Ándale! capital campaign … a new parish!
To mark the occasion, a Dec. 8 ground blessing will be held at the site of the new parish on the city’s far west side at Rousseau Street and Potranco Road, just behind the H-E-B Plus. Ground breaking and construction could begin as early as the fall of 2019. The new campus will include a church, rectory, hall, and eventually a school and sports complex.
By the year 2040, the population of the City of San Antonio is expected to increase by nearly 1 million people, according to SA Tomorrow and the City of San Antonio Planning Department. To position itself to meet the many pressing pastoral needs because of the growth, the archdiocese launched On the Way -¡Ándale!, its first capital campaign in more than 60 years in the fall of 2017. To date, more than $40 million has been raised toward the $60 million goal.
As part of the On the Way – ¡Ándale! campaign, the archdiocese will establish eight new parish communities over the next 10 years to welcome the nearly 250,000 Catholics who are moving into the area. Vietnamese Martyrs Parish broke ground on a new sanctuary in August of 2017 with assistance from the capital campaign and will be completed in the spring of 2019. The second parish, named Mary, Mother of the Church, was announced on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Using current and future projected growth data, future parishes will be established in areas of the archdiocese where the population is greatest.
The last parish established in the archdiocese was The Shrine of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina in the Stone Oak area on Aug. 15, 2001, the feast of the Assumption of Mary.
At the ground blessing ceremony, Father Larry Christian, episcopal vicar, said, “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.”
Don Meyer, who along with his wife Carol serve as general chairs of the capital campaign, commented on the status of the effort. “We began the On the Way – ¡Ándale! capital campaign in the spring of 2017; we launched our public phase last year in October with $18 million,” he said. “Since then, we have continued to share the mission and invite support through the parishes and gatherings and today we have just over $40 million … on our way to our goal of $60 million.”
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, remarked, that Pope Francis declared just last year the feast day of Mary, Mother of the Church for the Monday after Pentecost, and that we will now have a new parish with this name. “This is a blessed time in our Church to begin a new parish, especially on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, which also signifies a new beginning and renews our hope in Christ of what this beautiful parish community will be in the years to come.”
He emphasized that while the community growth is a positive development; that with substantial growth comes many pressing pastoral concerns. “Investment is needed to continue to build and grow our parishes, schools, ministries and social services,” the archbishop explained. In referring to the Potranco Road site, he added, “You can see the traffic and homes and more homes are being built – another 60,000 are planned. We want a parish here to serve all the people who are here now and who will move here in the coming years.”
Readers at the ground blessing service were Steve Vanderbur and Tina Kahlig, and Dr. Ramon Figueroa served as the master of ceremonies.
In his closing comments, Auxiliary Bishop Michael Boulette thanked those in attendance for their support of the mission of the Church. “Your discipleship and good stewardship of caring for the gifts God has given us, by serving the least among us, your works of mercy, serving on councils and in leadership positions, financially supporting your parishes, the Annual Archbishop’s Appeal and the On the Way – ¡Andale! capital campaign, and being a people of prayer has helped build up the Church here in the Archdiocese of San Antonio,” he concluded. “We need you and we need your help. We must hand on to future generations what was built by others for us! We need to do so to ensure that these future generations will have places to gathering and built their communities and families. I am asking for everyone in the Archdiocese of San Antonio to prayerfully consider a generous gift to the On the Way – ¡Andale! capital campaign.”
The archdiocese currently serves 2.6 million people in 19 counties across South Central Texas.
The capital campaign is active in nearly all of the 167 parishes and missions in the archdiocese and over $40 million in gifts and pledges has been raised.
More information about the On the Way – ¡Andale! can be found at www.ontheway-andale.org.