“This proves that all things are possible for those who believe,” said Father Richard Humphrys, former pastor of St. Charles and a key figure in the progression of the building project. “You prayed, you donated, you worked for almost 20 years to make this dream possible. Jesus has heard your prayers and has built you this beautiful church.”
The new 12,500 square foot worship space was constructed adjacent to the existing church on Spruce Avenue. The new church now provides seating for approximately 900 people, whereas the old building could only hold 150.
Bishop Barnes accompanied by parishioners and invited guests processed from the old building to the new building’s entrance where the plans of the church, certificate of occupancy and keys were entrusted to the parish community.
As the Mass began the church quickly filled to capacity, leaving parishioners and supporters lining the aisles and walls, and spilling into the foyer. All were excited to enter the new worship space and witness the dedication rite.
“I’ve never experienced a celebration like this before,” parishioner Maria Rodriguez said. “This shows that this parish is alive and that we are the church.”
During the Mass Bishop Barnes thanked former pastors Fr. Humphrys and Father Eloy Trujillo, C.O.R.C., for their leadership in working towards the building of the church. He also welcomed Father Miguel Corona, M.Sp.S., who began his term as administrator of the parish on July 1.
“The Lord gives us this day so that we can continue our journey together as a community of faith in the community in which we live,” Bishop Barnes said. “We are called to be fed here by the word and the sacraments and to go out into the world and transform the world.”
Before the rite of the Eucharist could be celebrated in the new church building, the walls of the church were blessed with holy water, the altar and walls were anointed with Chrism oil and the paschal candle was lit. Following communion, Bishop del Riego dedicated the Blessed Sacrament chapel.
“This is such a blessing,” parishioner Juana Cabrera said. “We used to have to sit outside during Mass. Now we can make an impact on the world and continue to grow as a community.”