New McCarthy Hall addition is blessed at St. Pius X Church in Rock Island

Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Rock Island, sprinkles holy water throughout the new church addition after the blessing by Bishop Jenky on May 7. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

ROCK ISLAND — Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, blessed and dedicated the new McCarthy Hall for St. Pius X Parish here during brief ceremonies following the 11 a.m. confirmation Mass at the church on Saturday, May 7.

In the blessing, which was attended by a crowd including clergy from throughout the region who concelebrated the confirmation Mass,  Bishop Jenky prayed that the hall be a place “where all of you may come to know one another better and give witness to our shared faith in Christ.”

22 Pius exterior

The exterior blends in with the circular design of St. Pius X Church. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Ground was broken last August for the one-level, 4,700-square-foot addition that is attached to the north entrance of the church. If features a circular exterior to blend in with the church and includes a catering kitchen, a hall with seating for 120, table and chair storage, and restrooms.

“This is a very exciting day,” said Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor, who credited former pastor Father R. Michael Schaab for preliminary work to identify parish needs.

He also expressed the deep appreciation of the parish to the late Richard McCarthy, a parishioner and longtime usher at the church who donated $1.5 million to St. Pius X through his trust. McCarthy died in 2008, and was represented at the blessing ceremonies by John Callas.

“It makes all the family and the committee very proud to participate with this, and give St. Pius something that will allow a greater quality of membership and life in the parish community for years to come,” said Callas.

Msgr. Mark Merdian shows Bishop Jenky the new entrance to the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at St. Pius X Church. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

The addition will be used as a gathering space for coffee and conversations following Mass, for funeral luncheons, Bible study, RCIA, wedding rehearsal dinners, and children’s liturgy of the word.

“May all who come here know the presence of Christ, experience the joy of his friendship, and grow in his love,” prayed Bishop Jenky before sprinkling the first holy water. He later blessed the church’s adoration chapel, which has a new entry because of the addition.

Precision Builders of LeClaire, Iowa, was the general contractor. The facility was designed by Gere/Dismer Architects, KJWW Engineering, and Missman, Inc., all of Rock Island.

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