On Saturday, December 11, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge blessed and dedicated a new Parish Administration Building on the campus of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Castle Hayne, NC.
At the dedication, Father Ryszard Kolodziej, Pastor of St. Stanislaus, expressed his gratitude to the Bishop and to all the parishioners celebrating the long awaited addition to the parish facilities. The decision to undertake the construction was made at a parish meeting three years ago, and ground was broken for the project last February.
“The parish is growing,” Fr. Kolodziej said, “and we needed to manage a larger population, add more modern office equipment and work procedures. This new building also enhances the beauty of the St. Stanislaus campus. This took place through the generosity and prayer of many people,” Fr. Kolodziej added, “and we give thanks to God.”
The Catholic community of St. Stanislaus is more than a century old. It began with three Polish immigrant families who arrived in 1907 to start vegetable farms. Those founding families and many of their descendants rest today in a small cemetery on the parish grounds. At first, Mass was celebrated in their homes by a priest who traveled from St. Mary in Wilmington. By 1916, with help from a development company and the Catholic Extension Society, the 18 families in the community acquired land and a church.
St. Stanislaus remained a mission of St. Mary until 1933, when it became a parish under the care (by 1935) of the Conventual Franciscan Friars of Immaculate Conception Province. Over the next three decades, the Franciscans and their Religious Sisters from Syracuse, NY, ministered to St. Stanislaus, bringing a rectory, parish hall, convent and school, and in 1951 an Army chapel from Camp Davis in Holly Ridge, which Bishop Vincent S. Waters dedicated as the new church.
The school closed in 1962, but Franciscan friars continued as pastors for many years. Meanwhile, Castle Hayne and St. Stanislaus, continued to grow as retirees and new businesses discovered the Wilmington area. By the mid-1990s, the old church building was clearly inadequate. The building couldn’t even be sold, so it was donated to the local fire department for a training exercise. In 1997, then-pastor Fr. Douglas Reed held two services: one as articles were removed from the church and another before the church was burned. Construction of a new church had already begun, and the building was dedicated by Bishop F. Joseph Gossman on December 13, 1998.
Above: St. Stanislaus Catholic Church’s new Parish Administration Building dedicated December 11.
Below: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Fr. Ryszard Kolodziej with altar servers at Mass prior to dedication of new administration building.