Parish Breaks Ground on New Church Print this post

By Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)


The commitment and dedication of many people made Feb. 19 a day to remember for the faithful of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch, for it was the day ground was broken for the new Parish Church.

The groundbreaking ceremony for a new Church at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch took place Feb. 19. Pictures are Bishop Frank J. Dewane, and from left to right with Msgr. Joseph Stearns, Parish Adminstrator Michael Scheip and Parish Parochial Vicar John Hoang.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, who celebrated a Mass and led the groundbreaking blessing and ceremony, called the new Church as the start of a new foundation for the Parish community. However, the Bishop said the faithful are the true foundation of Holy Mother Church and that the new building will be a place for a praise and worship of the Lord.

“Thank you for what you have done to make this day a reality,” the Bishop said to the gathered faithful. “It has happened in many steps over many years, but it has happened because of you, and people like you – men and women of faith – knew that Our Lady of the Angels was growing and needed a new Church.”

Artist rendering of new Parish Church for Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch. Groundbreaking for the new building took place Feb. 19.

The day would not have been made possible without the assistance of so many people, explained Our Lady of the Angels Parochial Vicar Father John Hoang. But Father Hoang specifically noted the vision and energy of Father Dan Smith, the Pastor of the Parish from 2011 until his sudden passing in June 2016, who led the capital campaign to get the funding so that construction could begin.

Newly appointed Administrator Father Michael Scheip said: “What a beautiful blessing it is today to have Bishop Dewane with us, to bless the site for out new Church building. Many years of praying, planning and raising funds have providentially brought us to this historic day.”

Bishop Frank J. Dewane blesses the faithful and the ground during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Church at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch took place Feb. 19.

When the dirt was thrown, a cheer went up, marking the beginning of this next exciting phase in the life of Our Lady of the Angels Parish was beginning.

Construction on the new 20,000 square foot Church will double the capacity of the existing temporary Church to 1,074. The new Church features a cruciform design with pre-engineered building with block and framed infill, and a metal roof. The building will include a Chapel that will seat 136 and a separate Adoration Chapel.

Because of an existing active bald eagle nest, the Church will be built outside of a 330-foot radius, as required under state and federal guidelines. There is also a permanent 100-foot protection zone around the nest, which will be in place during and after construction of the new Church. Construction activity will also be limited during active nesting season from November through April. Even so, the construction should take approximately 12 months to complete.

Currently Our Lady of the Angels serves more than 5,381 individuals and 1,646 families in the rapidly growing Lakewood Ranch area.

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