home Current Issue Breaking Ground: Many Turn Shovels of Soil at the Site of St. Kateri Church

Breaking Ground: Many Turn Shovels of Soil at the Site of St. Kateri Church

Story and photos by LIZ QUIRIN
Messenger editor

More than 200 people gathered to mark the official ground breaking for St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Ridgway.

The new church, built on the site of St. Joseph Church that was destroyed two years ago in a tornado, will be home to Gallatin County Catholics who worshipped in Shawneetown, Equality, Pond Settlement and Ridgway.

The four parishes were suppressed and established as chapels when the new parish was erected.

Before the ground breaking ceremony, where Msgr. Joseph Lawler turned the first spade of soil, Mark York, a member of the building committee spoke to the gathering.

York described a new community of faith that will be formed at Kateri from the four former parishes. The “future can be frightening or exciting or both. Whatever it is, it will not be the same as our past and that can bring anxiety,” he said.


The new church will be built at a cost of about $5 million, and with insurance money, donations and pledges, “we’re very close,” Tony Cox, a member of the fund-raising committee said.

Looking around at all the people who were turning shovels of soil at the ground breaking, Father Steven Beatty, administrator, said; “It’s really thrilling; it hasn’t been easy, and it won’t be easy.”

Father Beatty said parishioners from the recently suppressed parish of St. Francis Xavier hope that the new St. Kateri will be able to use some of the materials from their church, especially the stained glass windows. “We want them to be in a living building,” Caroline Trimble said.

“We’re really excited about the offer,” Father Beatty said.

Work will begin on the church in a matter of weeks.

“I’m excited a cross will rise above where we are now,” Father Beatty said. “A cross only matters as a sign of what is in the hearts of those who raised it.”

For a slide show of photos from the ground breaking, please click on the photo or this link.


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