By RENEE WEBB
FORT DODGE – After years of planning, parish leaders broke ground Aug. 1 for the new, single-site Holy Trinity Church in Fort Dodge to serve parishioners of Webster County and provide a multi-generational campus of faith.
In opening comments, Msgr. Kevin McCoy told the nearly 200 people gathered that in breaking ground it spoke volumes about the parish family and brought new meaning to the parish’s plan “Living our Faith; Building our Future.”
“What we do here tonight, is a continuation of our long history, the legacy of Catholicism in Webster County that dates back to the 1850s,” said the Holy Trinity pastor. “My prayer is that this new sanctuary will be set apart for our worship of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This new sanctuary will be a spiritual home not only for us today but for disciples and believers not yet born for decades to come.”
In remarks by Pat Leiting, design team chair and parish lay director, he said they were challenged to take input provided by parishioners through surveys and open discussions to incorporate those ideas into a design that conveyed the heritage of all the churches into one unified church.
“It was an important goal of the committee to incorporate the name of our parish – Holy Trinity – into the design,” he said. “We did this in several ways – such as through the two towers and the cupola, the three-window design on the transepts and the design of the reredos, which is an architectural element on the sanctuary platform that mirrors the design of the windows.”
The design team, noted Leiting, will continue to look for ways to repurpose other liturgical appointments from existing worship sites into the interior design of the church such as using existing stations of the cross and the stained-glass rose window from Holy Trinity Parish – Sacred Heart Church in Fort Dodge.
“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony signifies a new beginning in the life of our Catholic faith in Webster County,” Leiting said. “One of the most exciting things to me is the three ways we provide care for our Catholic community in Webster County – at St. Edmond School we educate our children in the practice of the faith, at the newly-remodeled Marian Home we provide care for the elderly of our faith and now with this groundbreaking of our new church we will soon provide for a place of worship for the families of our faith.”
Keith Kolacia, a Holy Trinity parishioner and the construction manager, called the groundbreaking a tribute to the many generations who came before “and gave up so much to ensure that our faith was thriving and a strong part of community and strong part of our lives.”
He pointed out that many parishioners have been asking him, what happens next?
“That’s the exciting part,” Kolacia stressed. “I am happy to say that next week you will start to see come changes take place on the site. The first steps will be to demo some of the existing buildings.” Structures such as the football locker room, dugouts and fencing will come down and within a couple of weeks grading and prep work for the building pad will begin.
By late November, Kolacia estimated steel structural work will commence and “you will start to see the actual church structure take shape.” If all goes well, the building will be enclosed by late spring of 2019. How far and how fast they get the work done, he stressed, is in the hands of God and whether they have good weather over the winter.
“Our goal at this time is to be celebrating Easter Mass of 2020 in our new worship space,” the construction manager said.
Msgr. McCoy offered a prayer and blessed the construction site, before various parish leaders, capital campaign chairs, committee members and others involved in the construction process broke ground.
Those who were unable to attend the groundbreaking, will have a chance to view designs and see the site at an upcoming parish block party.
Hiedi Touney, parish life director, said the parish will host a Summer Spirit Block Party on Aug. 18 with Mass celebrated at 4:15 p.m. in the St. Edmond High School Gym followed by games, food and dancing from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The street between St. Edmond’s and Marian Home will be closed off for the event.
Parish leaders explained that for years prior to the start of the school year, St. Edmond School has held a back to school gathering. Holy Trinity Parish has also held a celebration for parishioners of all Webster County worship sites to build unity.
“This effort combines those two realities,” said Msgr. McCoy. “The school will be open in the afternoon for students to bring in their school supplies, buy activity tickets and other back-to-school functions. Then it will flow into Mass and other activities.”
Among the games will be a dunk tank manned by Father Pat Behm and Deacon Ross Caniglia, noted Touney, with proceeds to benefit the food pantry. Another fun activity for families will be a photo booth for families with a construction theme.
Along with fun, Touney said there will be booths set up to feature various ministries serving as a stewardship fair prior to sign up in mid-September.