Breaking ground for the future

A new community life center will benefit East Cooper parishes

MOUNT PLEASANT — On the first Springlike day this year, the students at Christ Our King/Stella Maris School helped break ground for a new Catholic Community Life Center. Located on Russell Drive between the Christ Our King Parish and the school, the 39,000-square-foot facility will be used by the Catholic institutions in the Mount Pleasant area.

The facility will benefit all the East Cooper parishes, said Msgr. James Carter, pastor of Christ Our King.

It will help to meet the needs of the booming community. In 1999, the number of Catholics in East Cooper was expected to double by the year 2015, according to a study conducted by the diocese.

The center will be shared among Christ Our King, Stella Maris Parish on Sullivan’s Island, the East Cooper Catholic Community in Awendaw, the Christ Our King/Stella Maris School, and Bishop England High School on Daniel Island.

The project has continually re-emphasized the cluster concept, which organizes parishes to work together in facing the future. Representatives from each of the above parishes and schools are members of a board that will manage the facility.

The center will include a gym with a stage for theater productions, showers and lockers, a kitchen, meeting rooms, a nursery, and the Christ Our King Parish offices.

A campaign for the new facility began in October 1999, and after 16 months the community is nearing its $3 million goal.

Bishop Robert J. Baker said he hopes the parish life center will help foster a spirit of Christian friendship.