By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — St. Ignatius Parish took a significant step toward the future on Sept. 12.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, St. Ignatius Pastor Fr. Bry Shields and others took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the parish’s new church building. The church is one part of a parish project that will include the current church building being converted into a parish hall, a new Early Learning Center, a new cafeteria and the addition of a middle school building.
“Our effort, our initiative to build a new church and also to build other facilities here on campus was met with tremendous enthusiasm,” Fr. Shields said. He added that 640 people have pledged to the campaign for a total of $17.3 million.
The new church’s projected completion date is April 2021. The church will be built in a classical style, and while the church will be new, it will also incorporate items from the past.
It will include several items from St. Joseph Catholic Church in downtown Mobile, which closed in January 2018, such as the stained glass windows, pews, altars, fonts and statues.
The church is expected to seat at least 750 people, as well as have room for a children’s worship space and nursery, and balcony for a choir and organ.
“This is a historic moment for a parish to build a new church,” Archbishop Rodi said.
“It’s something that is seldom done. It takes a lot of work and a lot of generosity. Through your prayers, your efforts and your generosity, you have made this moment possible.”