Local Parishes

Overland Park parish breaks ground on Fiat Center

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann blesses those gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for Queen of the Holy Rosary in Overland Park’s capital improvement project called the Fiat Center, a 5,300-square-foot building projected to be completed by next Easter. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

by Jan Dumay
Special to The Leaven

OVERLAND PARK — The sky was overcast, and rain was threatening, but the spirits of parishioners from Queen of the Holy Rosary Church here were not dampened at the groundbreaking ceremony for the church’s long-planned capital improvement project called the Fiat Center.

“Congratulations on this undertaking,” Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, who officiated the brief June 10 ceremony, told the 50 or so assembled. “It’s quite an accomplishment. I salute the parish for doing this. We just pray that this center will be a place where many will come to be strengthened and renewed, and deepened in their faith, and that it will be a place of great fellowship and learning, inspiration and joy.”

Archbishop Naumann and Father Bill Bruning, pastor of Queen of the Holy Rosary, officially break ground on the construction of the Fiat Center. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

Plans and fundraising for the roughly $3 million center carried on despite COVID and an economic downturn. It began in 2017 with a facilities visioning team reviewing the needs of the parish. A Fiat for the Future capital campaign began in 2018. When COVID hit in 2020, the campaign continued but slowed. In August 2021, the original project was scaled down but still accommodated most of the parish’s needs.

In August 2022, a Fiat oversight committee was established representing construction project management, building construction, architecture and facilities maintenance professionals, who reported to Queen’s pastor, Father Bill Bruning.

Archbishop Naumann blesses the grounds outside Queen of the Holy Rosary Church in Overland Park. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

Father Bruning and some of those professionals were among those who participated in the groundbreaking and blessing of the 5,300-square-foot center, projected to be completed by next Easter.

The Fiat Center will provide:

• Much-needed meeting rooms for the church’s more than 30 ministries

• Accommodations for special events for its school, John Paul II

• A more accessible and welcoming office

• Space for adult formation

• ADA-compliant space with latest AV capabilities

• A space for future generations.

Above is a rendering of the Fiat Center.

A top need was the space for multiple meeting groups of 30 to 50 people. Many of these groups meet weekly and conflicts for reserving space are common.

“There really is no quality adult education space in this parish and adult formation space,” Father Bruning said after the ceremony. “Usually, we have to use the parish hall or the grade school with little second-grade chairs.”

Archbishop Naumann says hello to Megan and Brendan Linehan and baby Nolan, parishioners at Queen of the Holy Rosary in Overland Park. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

He said he was proud of the parishioners for donating to the center.

“Even with the economy, people stepped up and were very generous,” he said, adding that more contributions are always welcome. “I think we’re going to get new momentum now that we had a groundbreaking. Because COVID delayed things, we kind of lost momentum. Now it’s like, ‘Yeah, things are really happening.’”

Archbishop Naumann greets a Queen of the Holy Rosary parishioner during the parish’s groundbreaking ceremony. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

“Fiat” is a Latin word meaning “Let it be done.” The center’s name reflects the parish’s mission statement: “Inspired by the love and compassion of Our Mother Mary, and united with her son Jesus in the Eucharist, we say ‘fiat’ to our commitment to hospitality, prayer, formation and service to the most vulnerable in our parish, community and world.”

“We call it the Fiat Center because we surrender, like the Blessed Mother, to the will of God,” said Father Bruning. “The ultimate formator was Our Blessed Mother, who formed the human nature of Jesus in her womb. We want to follow her example because she was the perfect Christian, the first one to see us to Christ.”

Austin Massoth, a parishioner and an architect with BBN Architects, designed the center, which will be located between the church and rectory, and will have a cohesive look.

“We wanted to match a lot of the characteristics of the church,” he said, such as the brick and stone, “but not really overtake the design of the church. It’s really meant to blend in with the entire complex.”

Archbishop Naumann rings the bell outside Queen of the Holy Rosary Church in Overland Park. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

The entry of the Fiat Center will be aligned with the entrance to the church and will be easily accessible off the parking lot and provide easy drop-offs. To accommodate building the center, a beautiful, old silver maple tree will be removed, but its wood will be repurposed for such things as conference tables and an art piece depicting the history of the church, Massoth said, adding that parishioners applauded when they heard that news.

Megan Linehan and her husband Brendan were engaged as the campaign for the Fiat Center got underway. They were later married at Queen and a couple of years later their son Nolan was baptized there. They plan to send him to John Paul II School.

The Fiat Center “is really exciting for the school, and the parish, and for the future generations of parishioners,” she said.

To view more photos from the Mass and groundbreaking, click here.

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The Leaven

The Leaven is the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

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