Raleigh Parish Blesses the Ground for Construction

Mark Kielty Around the Province

RALEIGH, N.C. — On March 22, parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Church here gathered to celebrate a ground blessing as they prepared to start the building phase of their $10 million capital campaign.

Following an 11:30 a.m. liturgy, the congregation followed a bagpiper to the site where ground will be broken for construction of new buildings, all part of the Growing in Faith Together campaign.

Francis Joseph Gossman, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Raleigh, celebrated the liturgy. William McConville, OFM, was the homilist. Concelebrating the Mass and presiding at the ground blessing ceremony were Michael Francis Burbidge, bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh, Pastor Mark Reamer, OFM, and Julian Jagudilla, OFM.

raleighbackParishioners were asked to bring soil from their property to mix with the soil at the construction site.

“We will join together as one faith community, putting together the soil from everyone’s home, and ask God to bless the soil and the site where construction will soon take place,” Mark said. “By blessing the ground upon which the foundation of our new community center, Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, and pre-school buildings will be built, we know that it is Jesus who is the cornerstone and foundation of our lives.”

Also planned are a new drop-off portico at the entrance to the church and renovation of the fellowship hall/gymnasium.

Parishioners spent the rest of the day at the church festival, enjoying a barbecue, games, bingo, live music, face painting, and other activities.

— Marc Kielty is coordinator of communications of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Raleigh.