FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:
Kathy Yee, St. Juan Diego Church Pastoral Associate
(503) 644-1617 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Archbishop John G. Vlazny celebrates Mass with the newest Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese and blesses the building site for their new church.
Archbishop John G. Vlazny will celebrate Mass with St. Juan Diego Church on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 9:30 AM in the gymnasium of Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus, 17705 NW Springville Road. The celebration includes a procession with the Archbishop, founding pastor, Father John Kerns and parishioners to a five acre plot of land, the site where which construction begins this summer for the parish’s new church. This is the first church to be built in the Archdiocese since St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church was established in 1982 in Aloha, Oregon.
The land was purchased in the early 1980’s by the late Father Joseph M. McMahon of St. Pius X Church in the Cedar Hills neighborhood of NW Portland. Father McMahon witnessed the growth in this suburban community and foresaw the eventual need for another parish. The land is located near the PCC Rock Creek Campus on the corner of 178th and Springville Road.
Phase I construction will provide 11,500 square feet representing the sanctuary with pews for 450 people, a narthex, restrooms, sacristy room, reconciliation room and office space. The seating has been designed to accommodate upwards of 650 people within the structure. Phase I construction will last approximately one year. In the future, Phase II includes a community center and the capability to seat 800 people.
Previously of All Saints Church in NE Portland, Father Kerns accepted his appointment by Archbishop Vlazny to start a new parish on July 1, 2002. The church is named after Saint Juan Diego who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in Mexico City on July 31 2002. The Archbishop declared this date the foundation of the parish.
On Monday, December 9, 2002, on the Feast of St. Juan Diego, the parish held its first Mass at Christ Church in Hillsboro. After a lengthy search for a facility to hold Mass in regularly, PCC Rock Creek agreed to rent to them and on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2003, the parish celebrated its first Sunday Mass in the school’s gymnasium.
Currently, Father Kerns’ home acts as the rectory and office space is donated by St. Pius X Church in their Community Center. Saturday evening Mass is held at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church at 17435 NW West Union Road and Sunday Mass remains in PCC’s Rock Creek gymnasium.
Seven years since the parish was founded, there are 450 registered families, active religious education programs and ministry services. 5% of the weekly offertory is allotted to St. Juan Diego Church’s Social Justice Committee for outreach programs in the community as well.
Mass and Blessing of the Grounds
PCC Rock Creek Gymnasium, 17705 NW Springville Road
Sunday, June 7 @ 9:30 AM