Bay St. Louis Church Triumphs With Faith - - The News for South Mississippi

Bay St. Louis Church Triumphs With Faith

What started as a dream for St. Rose De Lima Catholic Church has become a reality.

Now the Bay St. Louis parish hopes its triumph over adversity will inspire others trying to keep going after Hurricane Katrina.

On Sunday the church dedicated a new 5,000 square foot community center.

Whether for wedding receptions or church meetings, parishioners of St. Rose De Lima have long yearned for a place where families and friends could go to enjoy each other's company.

Now that place is the Holy Spirit community center.

"It's a focal point for us to gather and to come together and love each other and make plans for the future," said parishioner Marilyn Smith. "Mostly to bring the people of the area back together after Hurricane Katrina."

"I think it's a very nice center. It was something the community really needed. St. Rose Parish," said parishioner Russell Fairconnetue.

Parishioners began laying the groundwork for Sunday's dedication ceremony back in 2003, but there have been several roadblocks along the way.

"Yesterday I was thinking about all the things that went on especially with the storm and Katrina and occasional thought 'Will we be able to complete it?' and 'Where will the support come from?" said Father Sebastian Myladiyil. "So it was overwhelming to see support coming from our own parishioners and support coming from wonderful benefactors far and wide. It's a great feeling to see this dream becoming a reality."

Church leaders say the new community center is just the beginning and they're looking forward to God helping them move even more mountains.

"The next big goal is an endowment fund for one million dollars for Catholic education. Then the next one might be expanding the church adding another hundred seats to the church because we are growing tremendously," said Father Myladiyil.

There is a story behind the name of the Holy Spirit Community Center of St. Rose De Lima.

Parishioners say Holy Spirit is the name of an order of nuns that for 70 years lived in a convent on the grounds where the new community center now stands.

by Danielle Thomas

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