by Marc and Julie Anderson
TOPEKA — When in 2004, parishioners gathered for the first “Mass in the Grass” on land north of town here, the parish was comprised of less than 400 families.
By March 2013, however, Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish had more than doubled in size. And like most growing families, it needed more room. The parish’s 19,200- square-foot multipurpose building (dedicated in 2007) just wasn’t big enough to accommodate all the activities of the parish.
On April 5, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann officially dedicated the Mother Teresa Family Formation Center, a 19,600-square-foot addition that expands the number of available meeting rooms and classrooms, provides more office space and offers the parish an industrial-sized kitchen for its various community functions.
The new center supplements the original multipurpose building, which continues to house the parish’s Masses.
After celebrating the dedication rite, the archbishop blessed the physical space and the parishioners with holy water, beginning at the main door and walking through the entire facility.
During brief remarks near the end, the archbishop called parishioners “the living stones” of the community and discussed the importance of the building itself in making Christ alive to others.
Prior to the dedication rite, the archbishop celebrated the regularly scheduled Saturday evening Mass. Father Tom Aduri, pastor, and Father John Riley, archdiocesan chancellor, concelebrated. During brief remarks after Communion, Father Aduri thanked the archbishop and Father Riley for their support of the project, as well as providing the loan necessary for its construction.
Additionally, he expressed his gratitude to all of those involved in the building project, including the architect, the general contractor, members of the building committee and the many volunteers and parishioners who donated time, talent and treasure to the project.
“One and all, I want to thank you,” said Father Aduri.