BRIGHAM CITY — More than 50 people gathered at St. Henry Catholic Church on May 29 for a ground-breaking ceremony for the parish’s new social hall.
Dignitaries included Bishop Oscar A. Solis; Brigham City Mayor Tyler Vincent; Father Patrick Reuse, S.J., the parish pastor; Father Christopher Gray, parochial vicar of the Cathedral of the Madeleine; Deacon George Reade, chancellor; and deacons Robert Bambrick, Lynn Johnson and Karl Meyersick.
Before blessing the site, Bishop Solis offered his congratulations to the parish and noted that the ground-breaking ceremony was an exciting moment in the life of the parishioners and other residents of the city.
“The presence of the town mayor, representatives from different churches and parishioners of diverse cultural backgrounds during the ground-breaking event speak loudly of the significance of this occasion,” the bishop said. “The social hall provides not only a venue for parish ministries but also a gathering place for all people of faith and religious affiliations where everyone can build warmer fellowship, stronger community bonds and work together for the common good of the community.”
Bishop Solis thanked Fr. Reuse for his dedicated pastoral ministry at St. Henry’s, and the church parish staff and parishioners for their spirit of unity in helping to proclaim the message of the Gospel and share God’s love with everyone.
In his comments, Mayor Vincent mentioned the parish’s ecumenical spirit and how that builds the community as a whole, “which I thought was a very insightful observation on his part,” said Deacon Meyersick, who is assigned to the parish and has been the construction project coordinator.
The new social hall was proposed to the parish community in 2014, and “the parishioners have been very enthusiastic about it,” Deacon Meyersick said. He added that several events have been held to raise funds for the effort, including a kermesse by the Spanish-speaking Catholic community in Tremonton and a parish youth who created a calendar using photos he had taken, and another who sold a beauty product and raised almost $800.
The parish has about 300 registered families in Brigham City and about 100 at Santa Ana Mission in Tremonton; both communities will use the new social hall, the deacon said.
The 45,000-square-foot social hall will be built on ground that previously was occupied by an old home, which had been the priest’s residence. The house was demolished and the rectory is now in the back of the church.
An enclosed hallway will connect the church to the new social hall, which will contain a kitchen, serving area, and an open space of almost 30,000 square feet. The construction also will include restrooms on the same level as the church and connected to both buildings.
“This is the first time St. Henry’s has actually had restroom facilities that you didn’t have to go down a long flight of stairs and across the buildings in order to get to,” Deacon Meyersick said. “I think this is much needed to help the aging members of our community as well to come to church and not have to worry about where they’re going to go to the bathroom.”
Previously, social activities were held in the church basement, “which is rather small and dark and down 19 steps,” the deacon said.
Once the new hall is built, the basement will be used for classrooms, he said.
The parish has issued a request for proposals for the project and hopes to have the social hall open by Easter, Deacon Meyersick said.