Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Suncrest, breaks ground on new church complex

Story and photo by Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the July 16, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

This architect’s rendering depicts the new church complex planned for Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Suncrest. Bishop Daly broke ground for the project July 8. (IR photo courtesy of Impact Consulting and Management Services)

Bishop Thomas Daly led the prayers and blessing during a groundbreaking ceremony for Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Suncrest, on Wednesday, July 8.

Bishop Thomas Daly prays during the groundbreaking for the new church at Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Suncrest. At right is the parish’s pastor, Jesuit Father Tim Clancy; at left is long-time parishioner Ramona Salvatore. (IR photo)

Parishioners gathered for the groundbreaking, the latest in several steps by the parish community to build its own worship space northwest of Spokane.

Our Lady of the Lake was established as a parish by Bishop William Skylstad in 2002, although Catholics had been gathering informally for prayer and worship in the Tum Tum area since the 1970s. A grotto was created within the basalt rock on the property around the time the parish was formally established; the next year, a prayer labyrinth, modeled on that at the cathedral in Chartres, France, was completed.

Architect for the project is Gary Saiki at Saiki Architectural Associates.

The parish counts about 85 registered families at present. Jesuit Father Tim Clancy, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake, hopes that a permanent church structure will help attract more area Catholics to the parish. The building’s worship space will have a capacity of 299, he said.

The parish community has been celebrating Mass at the Tum Tum Community Center during the colder months, and in a large construction tent provided by parishioner Gene George during the summer.

The tent stood over a smaller concrete pad that was created on the property in 2007. Building began in earnest three weeks ago, according to Father Clancy.

George is also the contractor for the new church building.

The completed building has been assessed at $1.5 million, said Father Clancy. The parish has raised $600,000 and has a $500,000 loan from AmericaWest bank. “With a lot of in-kind contributions and contributed labor from our contractor, Gene George, who is a parishioner, his many contacts in the community, and our own Knights of Columbus and Ladies Guild, we are trying to build it for $1.1 million,” he said.

A press release prior to the groundbreaking quoted Father Clancy’s description of the parish’s character: “Our Lady of the Lake is a vibrant community of faith run entirely by its members who give generously of their time, treasure and talent. Our worship is loud and joyful, punctuated with periods of thoughtful reflection and quiet prayer. Above all, we seek to be a hospitable, welcoming community. There are no strangers at our services.”

Hopes are that the building will be completed by Easter 2016, Father Clancy said.

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