Story, photos by David Volz
BOCA RATON — Dana LaBruyere is looking forward to the activities that will take place in the Parish Family Life Center at Saint Jude Catholic Church in Boca Raton.
“This will be a central place to have events,” said LaBruyere, president of the Home and School Association. “It will be a place for graduations, ordinations, community outreach programs or for kids to have lunch.”
Saint Jude held a groundbreaking ceremony June 24 for the 22,318 square foot building. The structure will include a lobby area, parish hall and office space for staff. The parish hall area will have a stage and be able to accommodate up to 400 people for seminars, retreats, workshops, weddings, fundraisers and other events.
The new building will include a commercial kitchen and offer enough office space to accommodate the parish staff under one roof, according to Dianne Laubert, spokesperson for the Diocese of Palm Beach.
Mary Mills, parish administrator, is excited about the new facility. “This will give us a place to hold banquets, weddings, seminars, conferences and graduations. We will host guest speakers. Because this is a large facility, we will open it to community events.”
Construction is expected to begin within a week and should take about 11 months to complete. The total cost of the project is about $5.5 million. Fundraising and planning for the parish hall took about six years and there were some struggles along the way.
Father Guy Fiano, a parochial vicar for St. Jude, was pleased to see the parish hall about to be built. “We are very excited about this parish hall. It will provide more room for school activities. It will be a good place for spiritual gatherings.”
Father Michael Kissane, O.Carm, who will become the pastor of Saint
Leaders from the Palm Beach Roman Catholic community attended the ceremony. There was an opening hymn and prayer. The Very Reverend Michael Driscoll, O.Carm, the pastor of Saint Jude, described some of the challenges involved in developing the project.
Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, also spoke. “We pray to God to bring this construction to a successful completion,” he said.
Bishop Barbarito blessed the ground. He and Driscoll then turned the ground and church leaders and community residents were urged to follow suit.