By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
NEW HOPE, Ky. — St. Vincent de Paul Church in New Hope, Ky., recently announced plans to build a new parish center to accommodate the growing needs of the small parish.
The Nelson County church plans to erect a 52 foot by 112 foot multipurpose structure directly behind the church building to accommodate the active parish, said Norine Masterson, St. Vincent de Paul parishioner and chair of the parish center campaign.
“We need a larger space where we can come together as a parish community,” Masterson said during an interview last week.
Currently, the parish uses the basement cafeteria of the old parish school building for gatherings, but the space is too small for communal functions, such as bereavement meals and wedding receptions.
Masterson added that the parish — which has 246 families — has many young families and parishioners who have expressed a desire to hold more gatherings, such as family game nights and movie nights.
“Young parents can come to our parish and celebrate movie nights and bring their little ones for good, fun entertainment,” said Masterson, who also serves as the parish’s director of religious education.
Father Ken Fortener, administrator of St. Vincent de Paul, said the new multipurpose building will meet a variety of needs.
“Right now we need space. We have a lot of young people and they need a space to meet. This building will meet a lot of needs,” Father Fortener said.
The new building will house a kitchen, handicap accessible restrooms (which are currently lacking at the parish) and will be able to seat 275 people with tables and chairs. There will also be a stage area, media equipment and easier accessibility for caterers and other vendors.
The project is estimated to cost about $300,000, and, Masterson said, the parish community is dedicated to raising the necessary funds.
“I think the parish tried in the past to build something but it was always so expensive. Now a plan has come together and parish members are all helping and everyone is on board. That helps a lot,” she said.
Some parishioners are offering “in kind help,” Masterson said, noting some individuals who are licensed have agreed to complete some construction elements at no charge. Others have agreed to donate their labor — all to keep costs down.
To date, the parish has raised about $75,000 or about 25 percent of the total.
Masterson said a number of fundraising events, including the sale of a parish cookbook, are scheduled. Construction is set to begin in March.