Loudonville church breaks ground on expansion they say is much-needed during pandemic | WNYT.com

Loudonville church breaks ground on expansion they say is much-needed during pandemic

Kumi Tucker
Updated: October 05, 2020 06:25 PM
Created: October 05, 2020 05:53 PM

LOUDONVILLE -- Shovels went into the ground at St. Pius in Loudonville. 

The new Parish Life Center will be home to gathering areas, meeting rooms, and a volunteer room.  It's all about helping people connect. 

"And so one of the things we need is some more space to be able to try and deepen our faith and help people who are hurting and to help people to connect, which we're finding in this COVID period is really a basic human need," said Fr. James Walsh of St. Pius X Church. 

It's a $5 million dollar project for the two-story building facing Crumitie Road.  Much of that came from donations, in just over a year of fundraising. 

"You're going to see the fruits of this project for years to come," said Kevin Bette of First Columbia.  "There are so many good things that father and the bishop want to do in this facility.  We're going to celebrate marriages, baptisms, we're going to grieve the deceased, we're going to train young people, we're going to give adults places to volunteer."

At a time when some churches are shrinking or closing, this one is growing, adding more than 100 families a year.  There is also a school. 

The push here is to foster a sense of community, to bring people in, and to build relationships. 

Church leaders say now, perhaps more than ever, that's important.

"And we think of so many people that feel isolated, that are hurting, that are in pain, and what can we do to reach out, to provide a space where people can be safe, and where people can tell their stories," said Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.  "And support one another because we are by nature social.  We need those connections." 

Construction, which was delayed by COVID, is expected to take about a year.

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