St. Teresa breaks ground on new sanctuary

Monday, Aug 26, 2013 8:54 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 1:37 AM
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With the turn of a shovel, ground was broken Monday evening on an $11 million expansion of a Co­lumbia County church that will make it the largest Cath­olic church in the Diocese of Savannah.

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The Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer (far left), the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, helps with the first dig during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new worship space for St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
The Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer (far left), the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, helps with the first dig during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new worship space for St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church.

Hundreds of parishioners at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church turned out for the groundbreaking, officiated by the Rev. Gregory Hartmayer, the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, and attended by Bishop Emeritus J. Kevin Boland.

“It’s a very, very exciting time,” said the Rev. Mike Ingram, St. Te­resa’s pastor. “It’s been a series of growth and blessings.”

The 1,200-seat worship space will be built in the shape of a cross atop a hill on Columbia Road, next to the church’s existing buildings. A $5.5 million parish life center, rectory and education building were built starting in 2004 in
the first of three phases of construction.

The 36,000-square foot worship space is the second phase and is expected to be completed by fall 2014. A youth ministry building will eventually follow.

For years, the parish life center has served as the sanctuary of the growing church.

The congregation of St. Teresa moved to the 44-acre property more than a decade ago with 600 families. Today, the church has about
1,800 families and is planning for more.

“As excited as I am for the new church … I’m also going to regain the parish life center as a social hall,” Ingram said. “I feel like I’m gaining two buildings.”

The parish life center served them well, but it was never intended to be a permanent sanctuary. The new space will include a few things the center lacks: a 100-seat chapel, choir space and confessionals. The choir hasn’t had a dedicated practice space since moving to Grovetown, and offices have had to double as confessionals.

The new church will be built in a “traditional” style, as “a place that reminds us of what it means to worship and to be Catholics,” McKinley Curtis, the parish council president, told the crowd that gathered Monday.

There’s a generation of children in the church who have never sat in a pew or worshipped surrounded by stained glass, Ingram said.

“Some grandchildren have never knelt on kneelers as Catholics do,” he said. “It’s our responsibility to the next generation to build something that lasts.”

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corgimom
27929
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corgimom 08/26/13 - 09:00 pm
3
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I always welcome and feel

I always welcome and feel good about new churches being built, regardless of the denomination.

I remember when they moved out there, my best wishes for their success and growth.

GiantsAllDay
9063
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GiantsAllDay 08/27/13 - 10:32 am
3
4
When jesus told his flock to

When jesus told his flock to go sell everything they had and give to the poor, I'm pretty sure an $11M church expansion in not what he had in mind, like the following illustration suggests:
http://www.anonymousartofrevolution.com/2012/10/go-sell-everything-you-h...

my.voice
4654
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my.voice 08/27/13 - 01:10 pm
0
3
GaD - Precisely. Money being

GaD - Precisely. Money being spent on monuments to ourselves is out of control. There's a balance between a proper structure and being good stewards of those funds. This crosses that line 10 times.

And this sure is a lengthy article........ there are tons of churches expanding without any coverage. Just sayin'.

justthefacts
20367
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justthefacts 08/27/13 - 01:37 pm
0
1
Wow

St. Theresas has sure come a long way from the living room of the small house on Crane Ferry Rd with 10-15 Families as members. I think the Priest's name was Father Roy. The millions this church has sent to feed and cloth those less fortunate is both domestic and foreign lands would be mind blowing.

GiantsAllDay
9063
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GiantsAllDay 08/27/13 - 02:23 pm
1
1
Since your name is

Since your name is justthefacts, I assume that you would appreciate some:
http://www.economist.com/node/21560536

lovingthesouth72
1362
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lovingthesouth72 08/27/13 - 05:18 pm
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built it

Such a beautiful sanctuary it will be to house our dear Lord in the blessed sacrament, as well as a place to pray and worship for all the Catholics in the area. May they continue to grow so they will continue to bless the community with their many ministries that reach out to the whole Grovetown area. As a community we look forward to gathering in a place that is worthy of such a wonderful God, and one that will remain for generations to come.

lovingthesouth72
1362
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lovingthesouth72 08/27/13 - 05:22 pm
1
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primer on beauty -

The beauty of a church is meant to turn our hearts and minds to God. To God we offer the best, and the most precious. In the old testament the ark of the covenant was made of gold, the best for the best. The only reason churches are built to be big and beautiful is as an act of thanksgiving and also to gather the faithful to pray: hence they will be strengthened in their faith and can then go out and serve the poor and the forgotten.

Jake
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Jake 08/27/13 - 05:35 pm
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@justthefacts

Actually his name was Father Roy Cox. I was married in that house in March, 1969. I heard years later that he left the priesthood.

JoeKise
6
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JoeKise 08/27/13 - 06:48 pm
1
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Giving to the poor?

It appears that there are a few people out there that are a little bit misinformed about how our building campaign to pay for our $11 Million church works. First, the contributions to the building of our sanctuary are above and beyond our weekly contributions. Actually, our weekly offertory has increased during the time period of building campaign. Catholic churches are required to put up 50% of full cost of a build campaign before the project can begin within our diocese. It took years to do this with the first phase of building on our new property. It took only months to collect $5.5 million for this project...more than twice the amount of the first campaign. So we not only showed our desire for a real sanctuary but we stepped up our normal contributions which permit the church to serve more people - to include the poor who - "will always be with us."

To know the Catholic Church is to know that we contribute greatly to people all over the world to include our own neighbors. This same argument was leveed against First Baptist when they expanded. The simple fact is that we have more parishioners than we have room for and we know that there are many more to come. We have 5 Masses every weekend and this is simply a resource issue. Very good points were made by other posting here...

My simple point is this...you need not worry about our ability or lack there of to assist not only the poor but the disadvantage, the elderly, the sick, the dying, the youth and every other group of people in need...we've been there for them in the past and we'll continue to be there for them in the future. In every corner of the world...that is but one of missions from Christ and the construction of this one building will not impede our steadfast goal to imitate Christ.

God Bless you all...
Peace Be With You.

Be Not Afraid my friends...
Be Not Afraid...

justthefacts
20367
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justthefacts 08/27/13 - 06:52 pm
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Small world

Heck, Jake we probably attended Mass together. Nice post Joe. I look forward to attending when I am in town.

GiantsAllDay
9063
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GiantsAllDay 08/27/13 - 07:43 pm
1
2
JoeKise, I will grant you

JoeKise, I will grant you this, you have about 1.1 billion people convinced.
"Christianity began in Palestine as a relationship, moved to Greece and became an idea, went to Rome and became an institution, then came to (North) America and became an enterprise"
-Richard Halverson, former Senate Chaplin

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