Bp. Jenky dedicates diocese’s Spalding Pastoral Center
ONE YEAR after it opened, and with exterior work nearing completion, the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria was officially dedicated to the honor of the first Bishop of Peoria, John Lancaster Spalding, and to the glory of God during ceremonies on Oct. 28.
Members of the diocesan staff gathered with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, near the east entrance to the four-story building to give thanks for the facility, which serves the entire diocese.
“May this building and those who work here serve many generations of clergy, religious and faithful in building up the Body of Christ in central Illinois,” said Bishop Jenky, who then walked throughout the building, blessing every office, conference room, and the Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Peoria Diocese Museum.
Both Bishop Jenky and Patricia Gibson, chancellor and director of the curia, led prayers for all who will come to the Spalding Pastoral Center, with Gibson asking “that they may grow in their knowledge and love of God.”
Prior to the construction of the pastoral center — located at 419 N.E. Madison, two blocks from St. Mary’s Cathedral — diocesan offices were scattered in more than a half-dozen aging, inefficient buildings. In its first year, the center has become a diocesan gathering place, hosting a variety of events and receptions in its conference center.
Bishop Jenky said it was fitting that the facility be named for Bishop Spalding, a “tireless apostle” who established many of the schools and parishes that comprise the diocese today. In dedicating the center, the bishop also remembered “all of the bishops, vicars general, chancellors, curia leaders, and many others who have helped to advance the ministry of the Diocese of Peoria.”