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Our Parish History Time Line

--> --> A longer account of our parish history can be found here

pre-2000  priests celebrated Sunday Masses for several years in neighboord center buildings in the retirement communities at Happy Trails, Arizona Traditions and Sun Village as part of Santa Teresita Parish in El Mirage. This group of founders started raising money for a permanent parish site.
2000 - parish was established July 1, 2000 by The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Sunday Mass was celebrated in a hall at Kingswood Elementary School. Parishioners did set up and take down every week. 
2001 - The Diocese put two "temporary" modular facilities on our parish campus and a small parking lot was built. For several years we did not have to pay rent on the buildings. When rent started, we bought the buildings to save costs.
          1) Multipurpose Building - used originally as a church and meeting hall
          2) Office Building with two conference rooms, reception, and two staff offices.
2006 - August groundbreaking and blessing of the construction site for the church and parking lot with Bishop Thomas Olmsted officiating
2008 - Our First Mass was celebrated Christmas Eve at 4:00pm. We used the wooden altar furnishings from the parish hall. The floor was bare concrete and the windows were clear glass. There was no marble in the sanctuary
2010 - Sunday of Divine Mercy, the Sunday after Easter, we held the Mass of the Dedication of the Church and Altar by Bishop Olmsted. We finally had a permanent altar, ambo and baptismal font, but the rest of the interior was barren: concrete floor, plain glass windows, chairs.
2010-2019 - Our parish community grew quickly with many ministry and activity groups. Soon, there was a shortage of adequate space. We worked hard to bring down the parish loan debt to the point where we could start thinking about planning for the next phase of construction for a parish activity center to replace the temporary modular buildings and improve services to the parish community.
2019 - New housing construction is underway in many areas of the parish.  Large housing developments are being built along Cotton Lane and the Loop 303; along Sun Valley Parkway in northern Buckeye and in northern Surprise, along both sides of Grand Avenue (Highway 60). Vinstancia in northern Peoria is booming with growth.

Statistical Notes

164 square miles within the parish boundaries, roughly Festival Ranch in north Buckeye, to Wittmann to Litchfield Road and Waddell Road, but we draw people from much farther south and north and several other parish boundaries. There are many large residential areas popping up within and near our geographical boundaries and many Catholics in these new areas will come to St Clare if we can provide for their needs.
5,000 registered parish homes
11,500 registered parishioners
Many public schools - 11+ from which we draw students and families
Many young families and teens are not being served well, lack of program space
Many retirees are active
Over 90 parish groups compete for very limited meeting space. See our groups and organizations.
30-35% of the parish is out of state or out of area during the summer heat
One hospital and one more under construction (Banner Del Webb, Abrazo)
Many assisted living facilities served by our Communion Visitors, clergy and staff
2 priests, 3 deacons, 12 lay staff crammed into tight office space

We know that many Catholics are not being served well and that we need to evangelize and re-evangelize the area.  Society is becoming increasingly secular and unchurched. We need a stronger parish and stronger ministerial outreach. 

When will construction begin?

Feasibility
We hope to begin construction in late 2020, but it is up to the will and ability of generous donors. 

We hired Ruotolo Associates to professionally assess the ability and willingness of parishioners to take on a large parish project to advance our mission to serve Catholics and visitors well into the future. They conducted personal interviews and focus groups of parishioners in May and June 2019. An in-pew survey was done the weekend of June 29 and 30, 2019.  A final report about this feasibility study was prepared and shared with the parish leadership. An executive summary of the report was inserted in the parish bulletin. 
Executive Summary of Feasibility Study  



Architect
We are working with the Office of Buildings and Properties of the Diocese of Phoenix to help us select an architectural firm and construction management team.

On September 11, 2019 at Letter was sent by the Office of Buildings and Properties to five (5) architectural firms with a Request for Qualifications and Proposal of Fixed Fees.  Four firms returned their documents to the Diocese and to St Clare office by 4pm on September 26, 2019. The firms are:
    Adaptive Architects, Mesa, AZ
    Architekton, Tempe, AZ
    CCBG Architects, Phoenix, AZ
    HDA Architects, Gilbert, AZ

The four proposals will be evaluated and interviews will be conducted. The costs presented vary from $300,00 to $600,000.

CMAR The project delivery method used in our diocese is Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR).


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