PAWLEYS ISLAND — More than 800 parishioners and visitors will participate in the rite of dedication of the new church of Precious Blood of Christ on June 6. Bishop David B. Thompson will perform the dedication after having the building handed over to him by John Glinka, chairman of the Building Committee; Bill Haubrich, pledge chairman; Peter Reibold, construction project manager; and Clem Thoennes, project finance manager.
Father Charles J. Snopek, pastor; Father Henry J. Burke; Msgr. James A. Carter, vicar general; Father Michael T. Corrigan; Father Paul Cummings; Msgr. Thomas R. Duffy; and Father Dennis B. Willey will be concelebrants with Bishop Thompson in the Mass and rite.
The new church is 12,500 square feet and seats 800 people. Total cost of the project, including site preparation, was $1.85 million, of which all but $650,000 has been raised and pledged. A separate memorial program has raised $140,000 for pews, stained-glass windows, carpeting, statues, and other furnishings.
“For a parish that started with a four-car garage, we’ve come a long way in only 13 years, to have built such a beautiful church here at Precious Blood of Christ. Working together, we can be very proud of our efforts. Personally, it has been a very rewarding experience,” said John Glinka, Building Committee chairman.
Added William Haubrich, pledge chairman, “The dedication of our new church on June 6 represents the culmination of a lot of effort by a lot of people. I strongly believe everyone is going to be very pleased with the results of their efforts for years to come. Personally, it has been a gratifying experience to be associated with the many volunteers, engaged in a labor of love, who were so overwhelmingly responsive with their time and financial support.”
Peter Reibold, construction project manager, continued, “This parish has been waiting more than 10 years for its own ‘real’ church. On June 6, the dream and the prayer will become a reality with the dedication of our new church building. This has been achieved because of the significant growth of the parish and the more than 40 percent of the parishioners actively engaged in the work of the church over this period.”
The expansion of the former four-car garage into a larger worship space began in early 1992. The first Mass in the new 240 seat addition was celebrated on Thanksgiving Day of that year. This space will now be used as the parish social center and be known as “Founders Hall,” dedicated to the priests, sisters and parishioners who started it all.
As the number of parishioners grew (a little more than 535 families currently) the need for a large church was evident. A “Building Our Future” pledge campaign began in April 1996. On Jan. 15, 1997, the parish purchased 10.7 adjacent acres from the diocese. Plans, architectural renderings, bids and financial discussion occurred and a Building Committee was formed. The construction site work began on July 15, 1998.
On Aug. 9 of last year, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the building cite. Dragan Construction began work on Aug. 24 and received a certificate of occupancy this April 16.
“The full-time, part-time and visiting parishioners have made this possible,” said Clem Thoennes, project finance chairman. “Their contribution of their resources: their time, their talent and over $1 million in contributions have made our dream come true.”
Father Snopek, pastor of Precious Blood of Christ who has seen the new church to completion, will retire from active ministry on July 1.