Alive in Christ renovations highlight St. Augustine celebration

St. Augustine CelebrationAt St. Augustine Catholic Community in Casselberry, “St. Augustine Day” has marked many special moments in the parish’s history, including the church groundbreaking ceremony in 1978 and dedication of the Parish Center in 1986.

As a result of Alive in Christ, parishioners were able to continue that long-standing tradition on St. Augustine Day, November 1, with the blessing and rededication of their Parish Center.

The beloved building, which had gone nearly three decades without significant repairs, was treated to a major renovation that began in 2013 and continued throughout 2014.

The results: new energy efficient windows and flat panel lighting, new carpet and tile, renovated restrooms, roof and ceiling repairs, and improvements to the walls and movable partitions.

Joining the parishioners in celebration was Bishop John Noonan, who presided at the 10:30 am Mass. In his homily, the bishop thanked those who gave of their time, talent and treasure to support the parish and the renovation project.

“Because you love the Lord, you share that love,” Bishop Noonan said. “You have shown how much you love this parish.”

Blessing the entrance to the Parish Center, Bishop Noonan prayed, "May all who come here know the joy and presence of God and grow in His love."

Following the blessing, parishioners gathered for refreshments in the Parish Center, where many parishioners expressed their surprise at the extent of the transformation.

“I’m so excited. I can’t get over how they transformed it,” said longtime parishioner Mariana Simonelli, who served on the committee that oversaw the building’s original construction. “It’s fantastic. I really didn’t expect this.”

Diocesan Director of Facilities Patrick Barker, who assisted with the project, commended the parish for its decision to incorporate flat panel LED lighting, a first for a Diocese of Orlando parish.

Barker described the lights, which are dimmable and can be configured in a variety of hues, as a healthier and more cost effective alternative to traditional fluorescent fixtures. He noted that parishes in other dioceses have realized energy savings of up to 75% through the use of LED lighting.

The renovations were made possible by the parish’s Alive in Christ capital campaign, which began in 2009. Parishioners raised more than $690,000 in cash and pledges to support the effort.

“Today we are joyful. We are thanking God for your gifts to this parish,” Bishop Noonan told parishioners. “When we are open to God’s presence in our life, it is so much easier to give.”

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