St. Mary Parish Center Ground Breaking- The Chicago Sun-Times


Written By Jeanie Mayer, The Chicago Sun-Times. April 19, 2012

Ground Broken for St. Mary Parish Center in Huntley

HUNTLEY — Approximately 150 people braved fierce winds and damp skies Monday to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking of the St. Mary Parish Ministry Center.

Honorees at the event included Bishop of the Rockford Diocese Thomas Doran, Village President Charles Sass, and the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard. Builder Ian Lamp presented Msgr. Steve Knox with the ceremonial silver shovel during the event.

St. Mary Catholic Church has been a part of the Huntley community since 1870, when the first church building was erected. Subsequent buildings were constructed over the years, with the most recent being the current church building at 10307 Dundee Ave. that was built in 2001 at a cost of $11 million.

The 32,000-square-foot Ministry Center will include office space, fellowship areas, more than 17 flexible-use classrooms for religious education classes, and a small adoration chapel.

Knox, who is pastor of the parish, opened the ceremonies by acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the people in his parish. “A lot of work has been done coming to this point, and we are blessed with this historic moment,” Knox said.

Knox recalled the blessing of the church building by Bishop Doran in 2001 and invited the bishop to bless the ground at the ceremony that day. “Bless this ground and all those who will participate in this work,” Doran said as part of his official blessing.

Knox also called on Sass to say a few words at the ceremony and received from him a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the village for the project.

“On behalf of the village, congratulations on this expansion,” Sass said. “St. Mary is an integral part of the village of Huntley. The St. Mary Church Ministry Center will benefit Huntley residents for years to come.”

The $7.8 million expansion project took about 18 months of planning and has already been fully funded by parishioner pledges and donations.

Parishioner Marti Gielow and her husband Howie attended the groundbreaking ceremony. Gielow said she looks forward to having a large facility for fellowship activities and the needed classroom space for religious education. “I am most excited about the adoration chapel” that will be erected with the building, she said.

Construction work on the project is expected to take 10 to 11 months.