.- Signs of growth and life abounded in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia this past weekend. Cardinal Justin Rigali was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony for St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church and Education Center in Upper Uwchlan March 13, reported Local Daily News.
The parish’s 36-acre plot of land will include a church with a seating capacity of 1,330 people, a grade school that will have 60 children in each grade, a social hall, rectory, conference rooms and a gymnasium. Fourteen acres will be used for construction; 22 acres will remain open space.
Construction will cost $21 million. A capital campaign and loans from the archdiocese will fund the project.
The cardinal led the groundbreaking and blessed a large white cross, which was placed at the proposed site of the church’s altar. Following the ceremony, the crowd of 200 walked across the street to Beth Israel Congregation for refreshments.
St. Elizabeth’s Parish is a new community, having been erected only in July 2000. Its territory was carved out of five other parishes. Officials from the five parishes designated the boundaries and sent letters to parishioners notifying them that they would be members of the new parish.
The pastor, Msgr. Thomas Mullin, said some people were upset initially to leave their parishes, but most people adjusted once they began meeting other parishioners and attending services at Lionville Middle School’s gymnasium, where mass is being celebrated until the church is built.