Swift Cur­rent par­ish cel­e­brates com­ple­tion of new church

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG mlieben­[email protected]­t.com

Af­ter years of ded­i­cated ef­fort to raise funds for a new church build­ing, mem­bers of the Christ the Redeemer Ro­man Catholic Par­ish in Swift Cur­rent fi­nally have a new sanc­tu­ary for wor­ship.

A church ded­i­ca­tion and grand open­ing cel­e­bra­tion of the new struc­ture took place on July 8.

Arch­bishop Don­ald Bolen of the Regina Arch­dio­cese presided at the morn­ing mass and church ded­i­ca­tion. Af­ter­wards parish­ioners en­joyed a pan­cake break­fast and there were var­i­ous chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

An open house with a grand open­ing cer­e­mony and rib­bon cut­ting took place in the af­ter­noon. A num­ber of dig­ni­taries spoke dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

Pas­tor Kevin Sny­der brought greet­ings on be­half of the Swift Cur­rent and Area Min­is­te­rial As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I think hav­ing this new fa­cil­ity also makes many things new in terms of your life and your fu­ture,” he said. “It's a state­ment about the vi­sion that you have and the vi­sion for God's king­dom, and as a min­is­te­rial we get ex­cited when any church is grow­ing and mov­ing ahead and is vi­brant and alive.”

Rev. Msgr. Rey­mundo Asis, who has been the par­ish priest at Christ the Redeemer for al­most two years, said the com­ple­tion of the build­ing was a won­der­ful ac­com­plish­ment that hap­pened as a re­sult of peo­ple’s strong faith in God and trust in each other.

“I con­sider my­self just a ben­e­fi­ciary, a re­cip­i­ent of the good works that you have done as a fam­ily, as a com­mu­nity, as a church,” he men­tioned. “I'm en­joy­ing the benefits that the pre­vi­ous pas­tors have worked to­wards the com­ple­tion of this church. So my deep­est grat­i­tude and con­grat­u­la­tion.”

Rev. Richard Jasiak, the pre­vi­ous par­ish priest at Christ the Redeemer, at­tended the cel­e­bra­tion and was asked to speak dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

“I'm so glad to be here, it’s like com­ing home,” he said. “It's al­ready two years that I moved from Swift Cur­rent, but com­ing here is like com­ing to fam­ily.”

He felt it was God's will for them to have this church, even though there were var­i­ous ob­sta­cles along the way.

“You prayed, you asked God's will and now we have it, and I'm very proud of you,” he said.

Shay Fran­cis spoke on be­half of the youth of the par­ish. He felt ex­cited to in­vite peo­ple to at­tend wor­ship in the new build­ing.

“This is a beau­ti­ful build­ing and this is such a beau­ti­ful place to praise God and to cel­e­brate the mass,” he said.

Mayor De­nis Per­rault con­grat­u­lated parish­ioners on be­half of coun­cil for their re­silience to get the project com­pleted. He noted that Swift Cur­rent is in growth mode and he thanked the par­ish for in­vest­ing in the com­mu­nity.

“We are grow­ing be­cause great things can hap­pen when all of us work to­gether for a better com­mu­nity,” he said. “Hav­ing this house of wor­ship will en­sure Catholics to­day and into the fu­ture have a place to gather.”

Gord Ha­gen, who chairs the build­ing com­mit­tee, ex­pressed grat­i­tude to­wards the mem­bers of the com­mit­tee for stay­ing fo­cused for 18 years. He also thanked parish­ioners for their faith in the project, and he thanked the ar­chi­tects and con­struc­tion com­pany for their con­tri­bu­tions. “It's been a long, long trip,” he said. Ha­gen has been on the build­ing com­mit­tee since the start and he chaired the group for about 11 years.

“Our big­gest chal­lenge prob­a­bly was the fact that we took so long in get­ting here be­cause the con­struc­tion cost climbed dra­mat­i­cally in the last eight to 10 years,” he said af­ter the rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony.

“So it was al­most ex­ceed­ing our ca­pac­ity to earn money and put money away, just climb­ing at such a rate that ei­ther you had to get it now or you’ll never go­ing to be able to build it.”

The con­struc­tion project added a new church sanc­tu­ary of about 11,000 square feet to the ex­ist­ing 12,000 square feet build­ing.

The to­tal cost of the project is $5.3 mil­lion, which was fi­nanced through $1.8 mil­lion in cash and pledges as well as a parochial fund loan of $3.5 mil­lion.

Some items were ex­cluded from the con­struc­tion project as a cost saving mea­sure and will be added in the fu­ture.

Th­ese de­ferred items in­clude an ex­te­rior bell tower, a bap­tismal font, the paving of the new park­ing lot area, new side­walks around the ex­ist­ing build­ing and curbs around the en­tire park­ing lot area, a new roof on the ex­ist­ing build­ing, and im­prove­ments to the sec­ond floor of the ex­ist­ing build­ing.

The new church was de­signed to pro­vide seat­ing to 630 peo­ple, but as a cost saving mea­sure the ex­ist­ing pews will re­main in use.

The length of th­ese pews will re­duce the church seat­ing ca­pac­ity to 550, but an ad­di­tional 125 seats are avail­able in the flex area at the back of the new church space.

The for­mer church area in the ex­ist­ing build­ing will now be used as a large hall with ban­quet seat­ing for al­most 300 peo­ple. The pre­vi­ous main hall now be­comes a smaller, se­condary hall with ban­quet seat­ing for 150 peo­ple.

Ac­cord­ing to Ha­gen there are close to 1,000 Catholic fam­i­lies in the city and the new church build­ing will help to unite the con­gre­ga­tion, be­cause there is now only one mass on Sun­day in­stead of two.

“I’m meet­ing new peo­ple that I hadn’t even met be­fore who have been go­ing to the par­ish for quite some time, but just at dif­fer­ent mass times,” he said. “So the sense of bringing all of the parish­ioners to­gether in a com­mon space and get­ting to know them all is go­ing to be one of the real ad­van­tages we’ll see go­ing for­ward, be­cause it re­ally unites the par­ish.”

Pho­tos by Matthew Lieben­berg

The large new church build­ing is an ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing struc­ture.

Build­ing Com­mit­tee Chair­per­son Gord Ha­gen speaks dur­ing the grand open­ing cer­e­mony, July 8.

The bright and airy church space has a gently slop­ing floor for in­creased vis­i­bil­ity.

Peo­ple gather out­side the new church build­ing for a grand open­ing cer­e­mony and rib­bon cut­ting, July 8.

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