Diocese Explains Need for New Columbia Parish and School

3 years 8 months 2 weeks ago November 03, 2013 Nov 3, 2013 Sunday, November 03 2013 Sunday, November 03, 2013 5:10:00 PM CST in News
By: Nick Thompson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Diocese of Jefferson City wants to address overcrowding in Columbia by building a new parish and school to serve the city's growing Catholic population.

Deacon Dan Joyce said Columbia has more than 4,100 Catholic households and the diocese needs to expand capacity to accommodate members. Catholics can currently attend Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Thomas More Newman Center or Sacred Heart.

The diocese will hold its first round of listening sessions at the three parishes Nov. 3 - Nov. 10. Our Lady of Lourdes pastor Michael Flanagan said the purpose of the listening sessions is to determine whether parishioners will support the plan. It also serves as a way for the diocese to receive ideas and hear what new facilities people would like to see.

"We need their involvement, we need their support and we need them to know that their ideas are appreciated," Flanagan said. "We can move together then and it won't be just our decision."

Joyce said the diocese needs to add another school in the area to complement Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School, the only Columbia Catholic school serving grades K-8. The school currently has 615 students and parish leaders have had to turn away families in recent years. The parish has brought in trailers to hold some classes and some classes meet in the church basement.

"We have seen large growth in our Catholic population and that has reflected itself in the number of school-aged children that are looking to go to Catholic school," Joyce said. "We have been noticing this in recent years and our bishops have decided that it's time to listen to the community and find out how to address this in the coming years."

Our Lady of Lourdes turns down nearly 25 families each year who want to get a child started in kindergarten and it turns down nearly 50 families who want to enroll a child in the first through eighth grades. Flanagan said some avoid the wait list altogether. Joyce said the diocese does not like to see families get turned away.

"You do that several years in a row, you know you are under-serving that population," Joyce said. "It is something that we need to look at and see how we are going to address it."

Families are looking for more Catholic school choices at the same time the public school district is trying to meet overcrowding problems courtesy of a 10 year bond. Columbia Public School's Community Relations Director Michelle Baumstark told KOMU 8 News in an Oct. 17 report the school is trying to get rid of trailers and control class sizes.

"The growth in our schools has exceeded the capacities we have in our school buildings and so we need to be proactive with addressing that," Baumstark told KOMU 8 News.

Other private schools in Columbia are also dealing with increased demand for school choice, as Christian Chapel Academy principal Ron Farrington told KOMU 8 News his school is considering expansion.

Joyce said Father Tolton High School has helped expand access to Catholic education in Columbia.

"We've got the back end ready and now we need to work on the front end," Joyce said.

Father Tolton cost about $15 million to build and Flanagan said the diocese will need to explain the financial commitment at its listening sessions. The Jefferson City Diocese requires parishioners to raise 50 percent of the needed funds before it can build anything.

"They have to realize that it's going to take a lot of financing, and it will come out of their pockets," Flanagan said. "If they believe in the value of a Catholic education then they will have to pay for it."

Flanagan said the diocese needs to build the next Columbia parish and school in south Columbia.

"We need to establish a place in the south where people will find the church kind of local to the community, to their particular area," Flanagan said.

A new school would mean 200 to 250 students could be moved off Our Lady of Lourdes' campus.

The dates and locations for the listening sessions are as follows:

Nov. 3, 1:30-4:30 pm - Our Lady of Lourdes Flanagan Hall
Nov. 5, 6:30-9:30 pm - St. Thomas More Newman Center
Nov. 6, 6:30-9:30 pm - Our Lady of Lourdes Flanagan Hall
Nov. 8, 6:30-9:30 pm - Sacred Heart Education Center (will be held in Spanish)
Nov. 10, 2:30 - 5:30 pm - Sacred Heart Education Center

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation is encouraging eclipse viewers to visit the state’s conservation areas Aug. 21 to... More >>
1 hour ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 6:45:00 PM CDT in Eclipse Planning
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of the man who died during a shootout with police al ong a Missouri interstate... More >>
2 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 5:23:14 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation to impose new regulations on abortion and give the attorney general... More >>
3 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Some residents have received an email from a phony city traffic collections department, the City of Columbia Parking... More >>
3 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After a tragic accident that took the lives of two Jefferson City residents this past weekend people... More >>
3 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:06:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - COMO Connect will propose budget cuts to the city council headlined by the possible cancellation to three different... More >>
3 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri referred a case of possible misappropriation of funds by a former staff member from... More >>
4 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Summer road trips are going to be cheaper for Missouri drivers this year. According to AAA, the... More >>
4 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman has reached a settlement in a lawsuit she filed against a former neighbor... More >>
8 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:13:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have identified the victims of a triple shooting at a St. Joseph apartment complex... More >>
11 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:32:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The Mizzou International Composers Festival began its series of concerts Monday night with a free show at Whitmore Recital... More >>
11 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM CDT in News
FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a custodian for a St. Louis suburb took photos under the skirts of female... More >>
12 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 6:57:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Monday, Mayor Carrie Tergin presented her approved budget to the city council. Tergin calls the... More >>
22 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 9:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College has seen drastic growth in enrollment and will spend $20 million to expand its campus. Columbia... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 6:16:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Medical Center announced the hospital will be closing no later than September 22 and the announcement comes... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
ARNOLD (AP) — Investigators said a motorist who died after a shootout with police along a busy Missouri interstate had... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — More than 28,000 people in the Kansas City metro area remain without power after weekend storms... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:17:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Democrats voiced concerns over a veto by Governor Greitens after a public hearing Monday morning. The... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:08:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 87°
8pm 84°
9pm 80°
10pm 78°
11pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
World of Dance
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
World of Dance
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld