After worshiping in the Atholton High School cafeteria and auditorium for eight years, Roman Catholics in the Scaggsville area will soon have a church of their own.
St. Francis Catholic Church will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday at Routes 216 and 29. The ceremony will be led by Bishop P. Francis Murphy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
It will be the eighth Catholic church in Howard County and the 161st in the archdiocese.
"We wanted to build the community first, then put a roof on it," said Barbara Anderson, parish director of religious education.
The roof they waited so long for will be on a building that will cost about $2 million. The 560 member families have collected $1 million through donations and fund-raisers. The rest will be financed through a low-interest loan.
The new church will be built in three phases, with the first scheduled to be finished by mid- to late 1997.
The first phase will include a room large enough for 600 people to worship, four offices and meeting rooms.
Later, church members and their priest, Monsignor Jack Kinsella, hope to build a more traditional church on the 12.5-acre property. The timing of the expansion will depend on the church's growth rate and the amount of money it can raise.
William Blaul, communications director for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said the Catholic Church is growing in suburban areas such as Howard County.
"The growth of this church and the expansion projects taking place for Catholic churches all over the region reflects the outward expansion in the communities surrounding the Baltimore area," he said.
"The growth trend has been upward except for in the city of Baltimore." The number of Catholics in Howard County has jumped 75 percent in the past 10 years, from 24,749 to 43,338 members, according to figures provided by the archdiocese.
Pub Date: 6/06/96