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Sun Shines on St. Raphael Groundbreaking

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On a grey, misting Halloween Day, St. Raphael Parish in Raleigh held a picnic and groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction of its long-awaited Parish Activity Center. The 15,000 square-foot Center, which is expected to be completed by Fall 2010, will be used for liturgies, sporting events, receptions and banquets, and include a large stage and a kitchen. After completion of the new Center, the parish also plans a major renovation of the existing Raphael Hall.

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, led the groundbreaking prayer service and blessed the ground on which the new building will stand. Just as the Bishop and the other officials in attendance put their ceremonial spades in the ground, the sun broke through the clouds, as if – it seemed to some in attendance -- to second the blessing.

In his remarks, Bishop Burbidge spoke of the importance to any building of its foundation, and expressed his confidence that the faith and commitment of St. Raphael’s parishioners would be an ongoing support to the parish’s endeavors.

St. Raphael’s Pastor, Fr. Robert M. Hussey, S.J., thanked and congratulated the members of his church on their perseverance and achievement. Also in attendance was Msgr. Gerald R. Lewis, the third Pastor of St. Raphael.

Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Father Robert M. Hussey, S.J., and Msgr. Gerald R. Lewis joining with parish leaders in breaking ground for new Parish Activity Center.

Below: St. Raphael parishioners attending groundbreaking prayer service.