Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama, Reverend Robert M. Rutledge, OSFS, and parishioners broke ground for the construction of a new, larger church at Holy Infant in Durham.
“We have been blessed to see such a steady growth in our church over the years,” said Fr. Rutledge, pastor at Holy Infant. “We realize we need to expand our almost 50-year-old church to meet the demands of today’s congregation but also to anticipate what will be needed over the next 20-25 years. Our goal is to have a new building that continues to hold the special appeal of what makes Holy Infant such a wonderful church,” he added.
The present church, which seats 425, will become fellowship space, and the new building will accommodate 650 with room for expansion. In addition to the new church, the plan includes building a chapel for smaller weddings and baptisms, and a columbarium.
“The community has been so supportive of this project,” said Mike Angeli, steering committee member. “The parish community has been so supportive; we have more volunteers than we ever expected.”
We Remember You is the theme of the building campaign. “This parish has not forgotten," explained Fr. Rutledge. “They haven’t forgotten the people that built the original church and what it meant to them; they haven’t forgotten the people that have been stalwart parishioners all the way through that keep this parish alive and vibrant; they have not forgotten the people that are here today and have needs, and they try to meet them; and they have not forgotten that one day new people will come, and they are preparing for them. This parish remembers.”
Holy Infant Catholic Church, dedicated in 1970 by the Most Reverend Vincent Waters, then Bishop of Raleigh, supports more than 80 ministries to accommodate the need for education, ministering to the sick, faith formation, and many other areas.
The church is anticipated to be finished by the end of 2020 in anticipation of its 50th anniversary.