By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
With its pole building parish center reaching the end of its lifespan, St. Peter Parish in Cosgrove launched a capital campaign Nov. 9 to build a new space for parishioners to enjoy well into the future.
“It’s been a social center for us,” said longtime parishioner Donna Deatsch, 80, of the existing parish center. She’d “like to see the younger generation be able to enjoy the same kind of events and family feeling that I have had in my generation.”
The $1.3 million campaign project, titled “Treasuring Our Past – Building Our Future,” will continue through winter 2015, said Father Ed Dunn, parish administrator. The new parish center plans include a 300-person capacity banquet hall, with a parish office, kitchen, covered patio and an abundance of storage space. The parish hopes to begin construction on the building within the next year, he said, “to build upon the rich history of their ancestors and to enhance their facilities for today and for future generations.”
“It’s a beautiful building,” commented Deatsch after seeing pictures of the proposed parish center at the launching event, which occurred at Ramada Inn-Wasserbahn Waterpark Resort in Little Amana. More than 110 people attended the event, which included a keynote address from Msgr. Drake Shafer, pastor of St. Ann Parish in Long Grove. He spoke about how building a new parish center in Long Grove helped that parish, Deatsch said.
The existing parish center in Cosgrove has hosted a variety of events from wedding receptions to funeral dinners since its construction in the 1970s. Deatsch said said the building was inexpensive but not very durable. Despite parish efforts to maintain the building as much as possible, “the posts are rotting.”
Fr. Dunn said, “It is deteriorating and won’t last much longer.”
The building of a new parish center will also help free up space for religious education classes. Currently, religious education takes place in the former rectory and shares its space with the parish office. With the office proposed to move to the new parish center, more space will be available for religious education purposes, Deatsch said.
Fr. Dunn said per diocesan policy the parish must have 60 percent of funds in hand before breaking ground.
Deatsch said she is optimistic about the capital campaign because the parish tends to be “so supportive of everything … it feels like one large faith family.”