Cathedral breaks ground on its parish center

RALEIGH – The faithful gathered Aug. 28 at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral to participate in a groundbreaking for its new parish center. The event included a site blessing by Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama, accompanied by children in yellow, construction-themed hats that read: “Working for God.”

A new parish center adjacent to the new cathedral, which was dedicated in 2017, has been discussed by leaders for years. While the planning and fundraising were taking place, the parish utilized its downtown campus, where Cathedral School, Sacred Heart Church (the former cathedral) and other buildings, some of which are more than 100 years old, sit.

While the downtown campus is beloved and functioning, leaders said it was not meeting all the modern needs of the parish. Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral Parish has grown over the last five years from 1,200 families to about 4,000 families, said Paul Bedo, chairman of the parish’s building committee.

Those Catholics need space next to the cathedral to enjoy fellowship after Mass, meet for faith formation classes and gather as ministries for planning events and liturgies.

To meet those needs, leaders are planning a 20,000-square-foot parish center, which will complement cathedral in style and offer a gymnasium, kitchen, stage and conference rooms. The center will be adjacent to the cathedral and its new soccer complex.

Monsignor David Brockman, pastor, said the project is a parish family effort and that $6 million was raised by the parish, a challenge considering the pandemic. He pointed out the work of the building committee and parish council as important factors in the planning.

“The building committee is a group of lay men and women, many of whom are professionals in doing construction on a large scale. And so that group … and the parish council saying, ‘How are we going to get there?’ All that involvement together has been extremely important,” he said. “What I found over the years is when we emphasize the parish as a family, that people come on board with that.”

Leaders said they are expecting a delivery of steel in January, and that construction can begin in earnest at that point. If schedules are followed, they expect the parish center to be complete by the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024.