Groundbreaking held for new Catholic Church in Cleveland

Local dignitaries and officials turned out Sunday, March 8, for the groundbreaking of the future home of St. Mary's Catholic Church, located on the grounds of the former Kirbywood Golf Course. Representing the City of Cleveland were EDC Director Robert Reynolds, Councilwoman Marilyn Clay, Councilman Fred Terrell, Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn McWaters and City Manager Kelly McDonald. Bishop Curtis Guillory with the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas, Father Vincent Alexius with St. Mary's Catholic Church and Patrick Casarez with St. Mary's Catholic Church led the ceremony.

By Vanesa Brashier,

St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Cleveland celebrated the groundbreaking of a new church building on Sunday at its new site at 904 Kirbywood Drive. The 13,000-square-foot building is Phase 1 in a multi-phase master plan on the Church’s 197-acre property, which was once Kirbywood Golf Course.

The building, slated to be completed early next year, will serve as a sanctuary until a new sanctuary is built in Phase 2. At that time, the building will be converted into a parish hall.

Bishop Curtis Guillory with the Beaumont Diocese looks at the artist rendering for the new Catholic Church building in Cleveland. The building will serve as a sanctuary in Phase 1 and will eventually be used as a parish hall when a new sanctuary is built in Phase 2.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church, one of the fastest-growing parishes in the Diocese of Beaumont, is bursting at the seams as the population in Cleveland continues to boom.

Bishop Curtis Guillory with the Diocese of Beaumont blessed the site and the 100 or so parishioners who gathered for the groundbreaking, which was also attended by Cleveland City Manager Kelly McDonald, Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn McWaters, Councilwoman Marilyn Clay, Councilman Fred Terrell and EDC Director Robert Reynolds. Father Vincent Alexius, who leads St. Mary’s, helped Guillory officiate the ceremony.

“My brothers and sisters, this afternoon we celebrate a right in which we ask God’s blessing on this site where a church will be built. We ask God to bless us, His People, and all who will be working on this site,” Guillory said.

Guillory reminded church members that the project is a collaborative effort between them and the Diocese of Beaumont, and will require sacrifices of people’s time, efforts and donations to the church.

“Let us continue to work hard, pray hard and give hard to make this a place of worship, place of remembrance and a place of thanksgiving to our Almighty God,” he said.

The building was designed by TurnerDuran Architects of Houston and will be built by Paradigm Construction of The Woodlands. With the land-clearing complete, the next step is earthwork, which will be followed by foundation and concrete work. The project includes a large paved parking lot on the south side of the church.

A new access road from the property to FM 787 should be completed around the time the same time as the church.

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