Our Lady of the Meadows as a parish is
now over thirty years old. It started with “zero” families in 1979,
but had a rapid response to the publicity of its founding. For three and
a half years, it gathered and worshipped in borrowed space: first,
it celebrated at the Boy Scout hall; then, it moved to Wesley United Methodist
Church. By 1981, OLM numbered about four hundred registered households.
Efforts were underway to build a church building. During l982, the
present structure was built and opened with seating for 320 faithful.
The facility also housed the parish offices. A year later, the basement
parish hall was finished for use. About 600 parishioners worshipped
on any given weekend. Children’s Christian formation met in various
homes throughout the parish.
By 1990, the parish had increased in number
to about 750 households. The church building was getting crowded
at half it’s masses. Parish office space was very inadequate.
The number of volunteer homes for the children’s formation could not keep
up with demand. In 199l, the Parish Center was completed to house
office space, a smaller social space, and nine small classroom/meeting
rooms. Moving of parish offices from the church building created
room for approximately 80 more worshippers.
In 1996, the pastor and parish pastoral
council realized the need to take a good look at the future of parish growth.
Over 1000 households belonged to the parish. Our social concerns
ministry was desperate for space. Worship and music ministries needed
never before allotted room. Parish social gatherings commonly exceeded
hall capability. Christian formation was fast evolving from a child
centered program to a family “intergenerational” process with a Children’s
Liturgy of the Word weekend process during all our Masses. We were
running out of administrative space to keep up with demands. On top
on all this, housing growth within the parish was being projected to anywhere
from 2000 to 5000 new homes within ten years. City patterns showed
that at least 25% - 35% of them would be Catholics.
In 1998, a $200,000 gift allowed serious
planning and a start to cope with needs. We committed to expand the
church building to house a never-before gathering space, same-floor restrooms,
and adequate sacristy, with memorial tower, and a general purpose preparation
and gathering room. The fund raising campagn became know as OLM 2000. The first
phase that added the gathering space, known as the Narthex,
and Dovecote was completed in 2001.
A change in economic times,
a decline in parish growth and lack of funds forced
a retreat from ongoing phases of OLM2000 to expand the size
of the church and surrounding facilities. It was decided
that a remodel of the interior of the original worship space
to add more light and blend the new decor of the gathering
space was adequate. This was completed in 2006.
For a year by year look at the Parish's first 25 years - click
Every celebration of the
Eucharist is a share in
the cross of Christ, a
proclamation of his death
until he comes again.
Therefore, the Church
desires a crucifix to be
placed in every sanctuary
as reminder of this saving
event. From the time of
our renovation in 2006 we
have planned to have a
sanctuary crucifix. This
has finally come to
fruition with the
installation and blessing
of the cross that took
place Saturday, August 1,
2009 -- the thirtieth
anniversary of the
founding of the parish.
The cross is collaborative
effort by Tim Vinci, a
craftsman who took a
donated plank and
fashioned it into a cross
with inserts, Cathy
Valenzuela, a fused-glass
artist who created the
iridescent ruby glass
inserts, and Fr. Kevin
Novack, who painted the
figure of Christ within
the area Tim routed out on
the main cross upright.
The piece was designed to
accent our worship
environment, and to call
to mind the great mystery
of our faith. You are
invited to step into the
sanctuary some time and
look at the cross more
closely. May it help us to
experience more deeply
what Our Lord has done for
Click Here for the 38th year synopsis handout