Catholic church raises money to raise building, school

St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community Church, on schedule with fund raising and construction plans for a new church, will someday move its school to the site on Lompa Lane.

The Rev. Jerry Hanley announced that the church, through funds of the Reno Diocese, has purchased an adjoining four acres as the future site of the new St. Teresa's Catholic School.

Plans for the school are taking a back seat at this time though, as $1.5 to $2 million is needed to complete the church. Hanley said church construction should begin sometime in June.

"We're rolling right along," said Hanley. "We're completing construction documents, will send them to the city, then send them out to bid. We hope to break ground in June. So we're getting there.

"This is a giant step for us, to actually begin construction, but at the same time we really have to respect the history of the church."

As construction begins, members of the church will compile information and photographs to put together a book of memories.

Hanley said he will miss the area of the existing church and its offices.

"This has been a very special place for all of us. For the first time ever, we held a sunrise service for Easter and the church was filled, as were our two services held after. We have more people attending church than ever before.

"We are still trying to find different ways of bringing people closer together. And it will be nice to not have to turn people away from a service at the new church. We've had to do that here. This project has been a mammoth task. Everyone has had input on it. But I wouldn't want to do it again."

Plans for the new church have progressed over the past five years. The fund raising didn't begin until Nov. 1. The church, which has been a religious icon in Carson City for many years, extended its community involvement into several outreach programs. It helped found Friends in Service Helping and Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

At the existing St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community School, there is only one class per grade level. At the new school facility, there will be two classes per grade level through the eighth-grade facility

"Bishop Manogue is building a new school in very south Reno, plus a new parish. They will continue to accommodate the Catholic students.

"When we start plans for the our school, we'll be able to design and create the school the way it should be. And for the first time, the school will be next to the church."

Hanley figures planning for the school will begin in about five years, depending on the economy and other circumstances. The church will sell the old school building at 567 S. Richmond St.

"St. Teresa's will never have to move again. If needed, it can be built on to. We're ready for the next 150 years at least. It will be something wonderful. All of us have to leave home sometime and when we do, we find something better. From here, it can only get better."

Plans are for the congregation to be in the new church by June 2001.

Bishop Phillip Straling of the Reno Diocese will be at the groundbreaking. At that time, members of the congregation will dedicate personal treasures to the church to be placed in a sealed area directly underneath the spot where the church altar will be located.

"I think we really lucked out with the space and the land it's located on," said Hanley. "You think God had something to do with it?"


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