February 6, 2020
FSSP Houston is making progress. If you were a Missive reader back in July 2018, you may remember a post about Regina Caeli Parish’s exciting plans for expansion that included the Blessed Solanus Casey Gatehouse and eventually a new church. The buildings are being constructed in phases as the necessary funds are raised, and this past weekend, the parish celebrated the groundbreaking of the Gatehouse, which constitutes the second building in the overall plan. Their current chapel, St. Athanasius Chapel Hall, was the first; this will eventually be converted into a event/reception hall when a new church building is constructed further down the road. The Gatehouse will provide much-needed additional space to accommodate the parish’s current congregation and encourage future growth while also opening up the possibility of a third priest and expanded Mass schedule. It will contain classrooms, offices and a rectory.
The ceremonial groundbreaking took place on Sunday, January 26th, 2020. More than 360 faithful attended the morning High Mass celebrated by Fr. Zachary Akers, FSSP, Director of Development for North America, and the groundbreaking and reception that followed.
As the Litany of the Saints began after Mass, the faithful processed behind the priests and altar servers to the site of the Gatehouse. Chalk on the ground and stakes helped with visualization by marking the future building’s perimeter and rooms and the gate entrance. Pastor Fr. Charles Van Vliet, FSSP and Fr. Akers welcomed the guests at the conclusion of the Litany, Fr. Van Vliet thanking parishioners and supporters for the many sacrifices and volunteer hours that allowed for the $2.6 million construction to be funded through gifts and pledges. Fr. Akers expressed the Fraternity’s appreciation for the generosity of the faithful, and in noting the vibrant growth of the apostolate, he reminded us that we are blessed to have land for expansion, which many apostolates lack. The remarks ended with a blessing of the site. Fr. Van Vliet, Fr. Akers and Jerry Tipps, architect, then broke the ground with a gold shovel last used on December 20th, 2014, for the groundbreaking of St. Athanasius Chapel Hall.
Please keep the parish in your prayers as they embark on this new phase in the expansion project. For more information about the parish and to see detailed plans of the anticipated buildings, please visit www.reginacaeliparish.org. +