Local Catholic church finishes new building

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By JAMES DRAPER

news1@kilgorenewsherald.com

After more than a year of demolition and construction, Christ the King Catholic Church’s new building is complete: on Monday, area clergy and parishioners will gather for a celebration of Holy Mass with the rite of dedication of a church.

The ceremony is set for 7 p.m. at 1407 Broadway Blvd.

Part of the Diocese of Tyler, the local congregation will welcome Bishop Joseph E. Strickland for the dedication. Concelebrants include Father John J. Gomez, pastor and vicar general; the Rev. John Henao, parish administrator-designate; and the Rev. Luis Carlos Pena, parochial vicar.

Dedicating the altar to God, Gomez said, “We bless the buildings and we consecrate them. The whole building is dedicated and blessed, consecrated to the Lord.

A long rite, “It’s a beautiful ceremony.”

Original plans for the new construction date back to 2011. The first phase was completed in Spring 2017 with the dedication of the Bishop Alvaro Corrada Family and Parish Center in late-March. It served as a temporary church until the main building could be completed.

According to the church’s explanation of Monday’s liturgy, “The Rite for the Dedication of a Church and an Altar is rightly considered among the most solemn liturgical services. A church is the place where the Christian community is gathered to hear the word of God, to offer intercession and praise to him, and above all to celebrate the holy mysteries, and it is the place where the holy sacrament of the Eucharist is kept. Thus it stands as a special kind of image of the Church itself, which is God’s temple built from living stones.”

Learn more about the ceremony at KilgoreNewsHerald.com.

The new church has been more than a decade in the making: fundraising began in 2007.

Rather than refurbish the building the congregation had outgrown, the church opted to invest in a new facility that could seat as many as 500 people, double the original capacity.

Christ the King Catholic Church also commissioned a mosaic dedicated to Our Lady Guadalupe to be included in a special chapel within the church.

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