Foundations are about to be poured later this week for a new church and community centre in Chapel Road, Flat Bush. Before the concrete is poured, a collection of personal religious items, contributed by members of the Catholic community of St Luke’s in Flat Bush, will be buried in the foundations.
The items are treasures that have a sentimental value and are expressions of faith to the parishioners. They include holy cards and rosaries brought back to Flat Bush from Rome.
The treasures will be placed during a small celebration on June 13 at the Chapel Road site, just across the road from Barry Curtis Park. The church can already be seen to be taking shape, and the progress of the development is being recorded on the parish website www.flatbushcatholic.org.nz (go to the Facebook page).
The Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Patrick Dunn, said that the diocese is delighted with progress at the site. “We have been aware of the growing need for a church and gathering space to meet the demographic demands of this rapidly growing part of Auckland for some years,” he said, “and we are now very close to making this ideal a reality.”
The parish is continuing to fund-raise for the $10.8 million building project, which includes a community lounge, kitchen, large public courtyard, memorial garden and 125-space car park. St Luke’s will also be the spiritual home for nearby Sancta Maria College and Sancta Maria Catholic Primary School.
Currently, the parish rents the Sancta Maria College auditorium for Sunday Masses. This parish worship has been based at the college since Sunday 5 February 2006, when 220 people from Flat Bush gathered to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist. Despite lacking a permanent home, the parish has grown to more than 1,400, and is now a thriving multi-cultural family congregation.