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What’s New: St. Pius

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Future look of St. Pius X

Future look of St. Pius X

Future look of St. Pius X

Sophie Varisco, Staff Writer

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The St. Pius community will soon open the doors to a new environment which presents new opportunities and possibilities of growth in the community.

The church took 18 months to complete, starting on March 20th, 2016 and is set for its dedicated on October 5th, 2017.

The planning of the new church started in 2008 with a capital campaign aimed to raise money to create a church that meets the needs of the large growing parish. This campaign called “Building the Faith in Acadiana: Body and Soul, Bricks and Mortar” raised over $6 million towards the $19 million project.  

Father Steve Leblanc, pastor of St. Pius X for 10 years, says his favorite part of the new church was being able to help the parish’s goal come true. He says, “That was probably my favorite part… being able to put into brick and mortar their dream.”  

Lauren Peltier (’18) says, “The church has space for all the people so no one is left standing in the back.” This is a popular comment and opinion made by those who attend St. Pius and look at the new church across from them.

The space will include many more accommodations than the current church offers such as:

  • 2 “quieting rooms” offering  rocking chairs to help parents to comfort their crying or fussing child
  • An infant care room
  • New choir area
  • New band area
  • A giant cross bearing Jesus that will be suspended from the ceiling over the altar
  • Bride’s room
  • An adoration chapel offering 24-hour access
  • An exact replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà found in St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Plenty of restrooms around the church and near the adoration chapel

The seating in the church has also almost doubled from 500 to 900 seats. The church also provides a very large space for the congregation to gather before mass. As John Ray Perkins, youth director, puts it, “I really like the gathering space, [and] I just think it’s going to be a great place [where] we can foster community. In our current church we have to go outside in order to talk to people before or after Mass. There’s no place to gather inside so if it’s raining, if it’s cold, the community can’t congregate in conversation so I think it’s just going to help us really solidify a feeling of belonging which I think is important in our church.”

St. Pius creates more than added space, it also creates a new movement and adds new pieces all throughout the new church. Father Joel Faulk, parochial vicar of St. Pius, points out, “All the vestments and vessels will be different. The flow of things like Communion lines or processionals will be different… It’s like going from one church to another.”

As for other changes, St. Pius is hoping to grow and expand welcoming to all those who come. Father Steve echoed this by stating, “I think all in all the space St. Pius is creating is to try to be a parish that welcomes people.”

He explains: “We try to create space and the people to present that face because when you’re going someplace you want to be welcomed. It’s so important, I think that that [welcoming people] is something that is not yet visible but will become visible as the new church evolves.”

Students typically make their confirmation during their junior year, and for many it will be an exciting time as they go through the process with St. Pius.

Anna Stansbury (’19) responds to being in the new church by sharing, “It’s exciting because it’s a big church and it’s going to be really special.”

Garrett Montgomery (’19) says his favorite part would be the increase in seating as well as enjoying the change of garments for altar servers. Garrett has been an altar server at St. Pius for the last 3 years.

Father Joel Faulk is eager for the move to the new church like the rest of us and also shared that, “There will be a period of adjustment but I’m looking forward to it. I am comfortable with an intimate setting like what is currently offered and grander settings like what will be in the new church. Regardless, it is going to be different for me and for everyone.”

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What’s New: St. Pius