Ceremony testifies of importance of new Catholic Religious Education Center

Saturday , August 23, 2014 - 12:00 AM

OGDEN -- There is much to celebrate with the coming of a new Religious Education Center  at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

“Catholic schools are closing all over the country. This (school) is up by 800. This is an example of the revitalization of Ogden,” said Right Reverend Brendan J Freeman, a Trappist Monk (OCSO), who spoke during the ground breaking ceremony for the Religious Education Center at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ogden

Hundreds of parishioners from the church and guests celebrated the upcoming structure at a ground breaking ceremony Saturday, Aug. 16, that was held in both Spanish and English.

Present were dignitaries and special guests who had contributed much to the financing of the building.

Freeman represented the Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Huntsville, which has donated $500,000 toward the building, a full third of the $1.5 million raised.

The Most Reverend John C. Wester, bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, thanked Freeman for the large donation and hinted toward the monastery’s eventual closure.

“It’s the connection between the people of this perish and to the monastery, the people of God,” Wester said of the future building.

And he said the future building will do much to inspire and grow those who are taught there.

“The parents are to teach the children in the ways of faith. We assist you in that,” Wester said. “We take it seriously. This building is a sign of how seriously we take it.”

And Wester said the building would make important spiritual differences.

“You are building the body of Christ. You are making real the presence of God in Ogden in a very real way. ... When you consider what you are really doing, this truly is a gift from God.”

Father Ken Vialpando thanked many “honored guests” for their contributions, some of which were larger than $30,000 and came from individual families.

He also honored the instructors who would be teaching classes in the building.

“You are foot soldiers. You are in the trenches,” he said. “We want to ask God’s blessing upon you.”

And in his prayer for them, he asked God to stand behind them as their best friend in their endeavors to teach the children and adults who were in need of faith-centered education.

Vialpando also thanked Wester for his leadership and influence in leading the way in Christ-like service to the present and future parishioners at St. Joseph’s.

He said Wester leads “like a Minute Man,” always willing to roll up his sleeves.

“He has the ability to make everyone he speaks to — even the homeless and the undocumented — feel like distinguished guests,” he said of Wester.

You may reach JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at JaNaeFrancisSE. Like her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis.

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