DENHAM SPRINGS, La (NBC33) - — Sunday parishioners Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Parish got their first chance to use their brand new faith formation center. The project is almost complete four years of raising their own money to pay for the facility. Now church goers say they're excited to have more space to learn about their faith.
"I think it's going to invite more people into the parish now that we have room to do more things to further religious education for the kids coming up because we don't have a Catholic school," Susette Vizinat, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church parishioner, said.
Rev. Frank Uter, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, explained the new building features more than 20 classrooms for religious programs for adults and catechism classes for children and teens.
Rev. Uter described before the new building the parish was running out space to host events and classes. Teachers constantly had to switch out equipment.
"Every time we got ready for religious instruction we had to take the limited classrooms we had and move the little furniture out bring in bigger desks, " Uter said.
Rev. Uter explained four years ago church parish leaders decided it was time to make some room. They came up with the idea for the new faith formation center, but They didn't want to borrow any money. Instead, they collected donations from within the congregation and came up with more than $3 million for the project.
"We've built this building without going into debt at all. None of this building is mortgaged. It's all paid for or it will be," Deacon Rudy Stahl, from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, described. "It shows the hunger that the people have to expand their faith to learn about their faith. "
Parishioners say it's a big win for the growing faith family.
"Means a lot to the whole community for everyone to participate," Vizinat said.
The building itself is complete; however Uter said there is still work to be done to finish up the second floor. He expects that work to be done soon.
Uter said he's blessed to have such "giving" parishioners at the church.
"They have a wonderful spirit and the parish does everything really as one with a real consensus," Uter said. "It's everybody building. "
Bishop Robert Muench will help formally dedicated the new faith formation center at a special mass on November 23.