Officials at Nativity of Our Lord Church want to build a new community center and need at least $2.5 million to make it happen. As a religious institution, the church does not receive any funding from tax dollars, so the money will need to come from the generosity of the community.
Whenever Nativity of Our Lord has a gym class, lunch period, craft fair or any other parish events, they are all held in the same place, the one hall under the church. Church officials say that limited space is holding back the parish's ability to host more events and provide more services to the community.
"Our facilities, especially for large groups, are very limited," said Nativity's pastor, Rev. Angelo Citino, in a letter to parishioners. "The hall is very difficult for our older parishioners and the handicapped to access due to the steps. As a result, our senior citizen group meets in the Parish Conference Center, which can only hold a limited number of people, perhaps 50 or so. There is no room for our group to be able to grow and offer entertaining events. With the senior population in our parish growing, we really need a larger and more accessible facility for them."
Citino also writes that the parish Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) has to use other gymnasiums for practice, and the closure of Leary, Longstreth and the former WREC Center has reduced the number of available facilities.
Nativity has started a feasibility study with The Cunneen Company, a consultation company that specializes in assisting parishes with capital campaigns. As part of the study, members of the Nativity community will be asked to participate in a five-minute survey during mass on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25.
The ushers will distribute the surveys following the homily and collected after mass. Citino says the feedback will help determine if there is enough support to launch a capital campaign to raise the stated goal of $2.5 million.