Design for new church is welcome sight for parishioners

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

In the fall of 2007, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Wildwood, joined the first wave of the Alive in Christ Campaign with the goal of raising funds for the construction of a larger church. By the spring of 2012, parish families had raised approximately 160% of their minimum goal of twice the annual offertory. Now, with the designs complete and a contractor selected, parishioners have taken yet another step toward their new home.

"It will be a larger, more functional building," noted Lee Valente, Business Manager for St. Vincent de Paul. "We'll be able to do what we’re called to do."

Originally a mission of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Bushnell, the Sumter County parish grew exponentially once the current church was constructed in 1994. By 2005, when then-Bishop Thomas Wenski established St. Vincent de Paul as a separate parish, the community was already struggling with a lack of space.

"Right now we have enough pews to accommodate 200 people, and we routinely set up additional chairs every weekend," explained Valente. "During winter months, when seasonal residents are back in town, we set up as many as 300 additional chairs."

The new church will have an estimated seating capacity of 1,000 and will feature two reconciliation rooms, a bridal room, and a choir practice room with adjacent storage. The design plan also includes both a working sacristy and a vesting sacristy, which are combined into one small space in the current facility.

The permitting phase is currently in progress, and Fr. Peter Sagorski, Pastor, expects to break ground after the new year.

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