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 “God has not forgotten about this community of Mecca,” Bishop Gerald Barnes said during the Mass. “He has been walking with you since the beginning.”   

 The 19,000 square-foot worship center seats about 1,200 people. It replaces the temporary sprung structure that has been used for the past six years. Parishioners were forced out of the original church after a 2006 storm collapsed a portion of the roof. Before the erection of the temporary structure, parishioners celebrated Mass in a tent. 

 The dedication began with a prayer service inside the sprung building and continued with a joyful procession to the doors of the new building. At the doors, the keys and permits were handed over to Father Hector Vasquez, pastor of the parish.

 “We are so grateful for all who came to support us,” Father Vasquez said.

 More than $4 million was raised in order to build the church. Father Howard Lincoln, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Palm Desert led a fundraising effort that helped the poverty-stricken community achieve its fundraising goals.