Saint Gabriel the Archangel Parish sharing progress on Catholic Church project

Chestermere residents can visit the open house to learn about the project.

Chestermere residents are invited to an open house to learn about the progress that the Saint Gabriel the Archangel Parish has made to build a Catholic Church.

“We’re having an open house to tell people where we’re at, where we’ve been, and what they can do to help go forward,” Fr. James Hagel said.

The idea to build a Catholic Church first began in 2005, and in 2018 land was allocated.

“Now we’re closer to the building project, but we’re still monetarily quite a bit short of that. This is in the initial step to go into the fundraising phase next,” Hagel said.

Hagel estimates the project will cost $10 million. The parish is working have 80 per cent of the funding before starting construction.

“As far as a commercial building goes, anything under $10 million isn’t realistic,” Hagel said. “We’re looking at another $5 million to get us where we’re at 80 per cent, then we can start looking at building, getting estimates, and an architect. As it is now, it’s a bit too early in the process.”

The parish has been working to fundraise for the project, with the long-standing Angels on High (AOH) hiking and camping trip and is allowing individuals to give pledges.

“We’re putting a financial timeline on it, so when we get to certain benchmarks, we can start thinking about it, to make sure it’s realistic,” Hagel said. “The goal is $5 million over the next three to five years.”

Through a public survey, Hagel found two significant concerns from residents were the financial impacts, and that they didn’t have enough information about the project.

“My tagline is to bring your curiosity and your questions,” Hagel said. “Our parish motto is for nothing will be impossible with God, $5 million does sound like a big number, but nothing is impossible with God.”

Hagel explained that a Catholic Church is needed in Chestermere because the parish isn’t able to facilitate weddings and funerals.

“People want a sacred space for that, we’re almost always going elsewhere to parishes on the eastern side of Calgary,” Hagel said.

In addition to weddings and funerals, having a space would allow the parish to have youth groups, host fundraisers, facilitate community outreach, and assist community groups with more rental space.

“There’s not a lot of places to Worship in Chestermere. We started so new as a community that we haven’t had time to build those up,” Hagel said. “To have a place to pray in Chestermere would be a wonderful opportunity.”

On Oct. 21, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Chestermere residents can visit the Saint Gabriel the Archangel School to learn about the project and share input.

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