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Saint Eugene Parish Breaks Ground for New Church Building

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Saint Eugene Parish in Wendell broke ground Sunday, August 29, for a new church building to replace its current structure. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge presided at the 10:30 AM Mass and the blessing of the ground that followed. The new church will be built adjacent to the facility that has served the community for a number of years. With a growing parish, the new church will seat 740 people compared to the current seating capacity of 300. Total cost of the project is estimated at $3.1 million.

Concelebrants at the Mass and the groundbreaking were Father Joseph Lapauw, CICM, Pastor of Saint Eugene; Father Johanes Teguh Raharjo, CICM, Parochial Vicar; Father William G. Quigley, CICM, Campus Minister at East Carolina University; and Father John Forbes, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Raleigh, and Dean of the Raleigh Deanery.

Saint Eugene Parish began in 1929, with Mass being celebrated in the living room of one of its first families. Its first constructed church was dedicated in 1948. One of the parishioners assisting at the groundbreaking was Mrs. Jeanette Kannon Knuckley, who was married in the first nuptial Mass celebrated in the 1948 church.

Since its beginnings, the parish has served newcomers to the United States and continues to do so today, ministering to a diverse population, which embraces its Catholic faith and sense of community.

The new church is expected to be complete and ready for dedication within one year.

Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge at Saint Eugene Blessing ceremony of groundbreaking for new church.