More than a year and a half since their building was destroyed by fire, Saint Rita’s Catholic Church has begun construction on a new building.
Settling with the insurance company, getting approval from the diocese and making sure the proper permits were in place has taken much time. The architect of the project is Fairbank Architects from Nelson and Hil-Tech Contracting from Trail will be doing the construction.
The long process has involved much consultation and planning and has been open to the entire parish. Father David John explained, “One of my objectives with the design process was that we would not just design a church, but that it would be a church for the people of Castlegar.” The congregation was given the opportunity to vote on the final design.
Father David is hoping that they can have their first service on the Feast of Pentecost at the end of May.
He explained the symbolism it would represent, “It is the feast of the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is saying we have our new church and we are hoping that it is not just a building, but it will be a place where God resides and where people can come and meet God in some way.”
Father David tried to lead the congregation to build a building that was not just functional, but would inspire a sense of awe. The new building also has incorporated some symbolism into the design.
Just as baptism is the entrance into the Catholic Church, the baptismal font stands at the entry into the Nave. After you pass the baptismal font, you will then “walk into the light” that is let in by the strategically placed windows.
Father David attended the second trial of the arsonist, Lee Wilding, and reported that Wilding apologized for what he had done.
“What that young man did was not good in any way, but we have got to move forward and see the opportunity in this.”