Home Diocesan News Columbiana St. Jude begins church expansion
Columbiana St. Jude begins church expansion Print E-mail
Written by Marly Kosinski, Special to the Exponent   
Friday, 08 September 2017 14:28

COLUMBIANA – What started as a mission site of Leetonia St. Patrick Parish in 1958 has grown so much that St. Jude Parish here is building a 2,000-square-foot addition. 

St. Jude officially became its own parish in 1966. The church building on Seventh Street was completed in 1970. During the diocesan-wide parish reconfiguration plan implemented in 2010, the parish entered into a collaborative relationship with Our Lady of Lourdes in East Palestine. The two parishes share a pastor while maintaining their own parish identities and worship sites.

Father Christopher Cicero, who has been pastor of the two parishes since 2014, said plans for the expansion began in 2015.

“The church was in need of a renovation anyway, but we didn’t want to spend money on an upgrade if it wasn’t going to meet the needs of our growing parish,” Father Cicero said.

He said the growth of St. Jude mimics what is happening in Columbiana as a whole.

“Columbiana is a desirable location because of the good school system and the small town feel. People are moving here from Pennsylvania and Mahoning County,” the pastor said.

Besides the expansion, which will increase the church’s seating capacity from 250 to 400 and enlarge the vestibule, there will be new pews, new altars, a new confessional, new carpeting, new lighting, new statues and a new crucifix.

However, it’s the new stained-glass windows that Father Cicero and his parishioners are most excited about because the church has never had stained-glass windows. The windows will feature depictions of the 12 apostles and the five glorious mysteries of the rosary.

“We wanted to make it bigger, but we also wanted to improve the liturgical beauty of the church,” Father Cicero said.

The $1.4 million project is being funded by a capital campaign called “Rebuilding Together in Faith, Hope and Love.” He said $1.2 million already has been pledged. The parish also started a festival last summer, with proceeds benefiting the project. The parish’s first-ever Octoberfest is planned for Oct. 14 in the parish hall.

“This project would not be possible without the support of our parishioners,” Father Cicero said.

The project, designed by Strollo Architects, began July 31 and is expected to be completed by spring. Mass is being celebrated in the parish hall while construction takes place.

“I think this project will strengthen the parish because it’s an investment in the prayer life of the Church. We have a strong Church community. We try to be active and have fruitful liturgies,” Father Cicero said.

The parish hall was built in 1980. Classrooms and business offices were added in the mid-1990s. The rectory was built in 2006.

“All these things were added after the church was built. Now we’re coming full circle and focusing on the church itself,” Father Cicero said. “I can’t wait until it’s done.”

 
 

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