Diocese enhances River District with expansion at St. James
By Shellie Berg
By Shellie Berg
St. James Parish, 428 N. Second St. will embark upon a $3.5 million project to expand Catholic services in order to accommodate growing parish and school activities, according to Father David Beauvais, pastor of St. James. The parish is growing and the need for additional parking could not be solved in any other way except to acquire more land, Father Beauvais said.
The church will expand its school, connect its rectory to the church, remodel both structures for handicapped individuals and create more parking on land north of the campus across from Prairie Street.
Other renovations include a music and multi-purpose room; a youth room; restrooms; an elevator; an office for religious education; an Extended School Program classroom, a computer room; a social hall; a meeting room; a meditation garden; and a kitchen.
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The Parish Consultations Process completed throughout the Rockford Diocese several years ago clearly put into focus the need for additional space for a social hall, meeting room and additional space for the school, Father David Beauvais noted. The other challenge over the years has been to make the church and rectory handicapped accessible.
Money will come from the diocesan United Faith Endowment Campaign, which is in combination with the parishs capital campaign. Moreover, a memorial donation and substantial anonymous gifts will be used for the church, as well as cash savings in parish accounts.
The first church built on the St. James property was blessed on June 7, 1853. The new construction will begin in June after school is out.
Bishop Thomas G. Doran, who attended St. James, said, The people of St. James are to be commended for their constant devotion, service and generosity, all of which will make this faith-filled investment in their community an achievement of lasting value.