Construction begins: New Parish Center to be completed by December

June, 2016 Posted in Community

By Mary Owen

Construction on Immaculate Conception Catholic Church’s new parish center is moving forward.

“It’s the third leg of the stool with St. Mary and Regis High,” Mike Jaeger said. He handles marketing for the committee responsible for the new center. Jaeger was referring to prior upgrades to the two Catholic schools, including Regis’ activities center.

He said the church has always wanted to have a building to use for parish activities and the new center will provide for both the church and the community.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the 11,500-square-foot building was held on March 29. The new parish center replaces the former convent, built in 1937, that housed the Sisters of St. Mary’s of Beaverton who came to Stayton to teach school.

By the year 2000, as the sisters aged and were replaced by lay teachers, the convent’s living quarters were vacated and the building became home to the parish offices. At the groundbreaking, several of the sisters reminisced with local families, some taking home a special memento from their convent.

“Some got to meet with former students, some of whom are in their 50s now,” Jaeger said.

Committee members Juli Bochsler and Kim Koehnke spearheaded the fundraising for the project, raising $3.5 million.

“We did a lot of presentations to the parish,” Jaeger said. “An architectural virtual building got parishioners excited about the project.”

When completed, the parish center will meet the needs of the growing church, including the Hispanic Ministry.

The new building will feature a reception hall with a table seating capacity of 250, which Jaeger said will allow for wedding and other receptions as well as community meetings. The room is also dividable into as many as five classrooms. In addition, the center will have a commercial-grade kitchen, six offices, a conference room, and a fireside room with a gas fireplace.

“I think it’s such an opportunity for us to continue to expand our ministry,” Jaeger said. “The idea is to actually reach out to more people within the parish and even outside the parish.”

Parish programs and ministries in the areas of hospitality, faith and community building, liturgy and sacraments, and social justice are already being considered as well as church socials and community use.

“For the first time, wedding and funeral receptions will be available on-site,” Jaeger said.

With completion projected for December, the Immaculate Conception Parish family anticipates “a very special season to celebrate.” “From the beginning of our discussion of this dream for our parish, we have prayed for the guidance of the Lord Jesus,” said Father Ed Coleman, reflecting on a passage from the Book of Psalms: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build labor in vain.”

“We believe Jesus is blessing the journey,” Coleman said.

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