GLEN BURNIE – When Monsignor Arthur Slade was pastor of Holy Trinity in Glen Burnie in the 1960s, he dreamed of building a bigger church. Instead, two missions that eventually became their own parishes formed: the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Church of the Crucifixion.
Today these three communities are united in a single parish known as Christ the King, worshiping in the former Holy Trinity Church and in the auditorium of Monsignor Slade School.
Today, after about 60 years, the dream of building a bigger church in Glen Burnie will come true.
Parish leaders are moving forward with a plan to sell the church buildings to Crucifixion, Good Shepherd and the former Holy Trinity to erect a new church that will significantly alleviate the lack of space.
After celebrating a bilingual Mass for the feast of Christ the King on November 21 at the auditorium of Monsignor Slade School, more than 550 parishioners from different cultures and origins came with the Blessed Sacrament to the place. where the new church will be built on Dorsey Road.
Father T. Austin Murphy Jr., pastor of Christ the King (part of a pastorate that includes Saint Bernadette in Severn), noted that Christ the King cares for about 4,000 families. Masses are currently celebrated in the old Church of the Holy Trinity, with a capacity of 225 people. Special celebratory masses are celebrated in the auditorium of Monsignor Slade School, which can accommodate 500 people.
“We regularly fill the church and need more Masses to accommodate everyone,” said Father Murphy. “Building a bigger church is a good solution to bring more people together at the same time in order to reduce the stress for the priest to celebrate several Masses and also to centralize us in one place. “
Sunday Masses consist of three Masses in English and three in Spanish. According to Father Murphy, the Hispanic population comprises 60 percent of the parish.
Jorge Hernández, coordinator of the Hispanic ministry of Christ the King, has stated on numerous occasions that parishioners meet in four different places and do not know each other when they go to big events in the auditorium.
“I think the new temple is going to be a bridge for the different communities, especially Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon, within our parish to come together,” said the native of Usulután, El Salvador.
He also mentioned that Father Murphy had worked on building this bridge for the diverse community by celebrating Mass in Spanish and assigning Associate Pastor Father Diego Rivera to Masses in English.
“Sometimes we have to rehearse in our homes because there aren’t enough rooms available for us to practice,” said Araceli Ortiz, a member of one of the four Hispanic choirs in the parish.
Despite feelings of nostalgia for the old church buildings, Father Murphy said the community has recognized the needs of the parish today.
Richard and Michelle Peifer, parishioners of the Holy Trinity for 29 years and four years of Christ the King, look forward to unity in the church.
“It is important to build a new church so that we can all come together because right now we are kind of apart,” said Richard Peifer.
“I think the reason is that our current worship spaces are not large enough to accommodate all of us,” added Michelle Peifer. “Our family has worshiped in the auditorium for 30 years, so it will be wonderful to be able to worship in a space that truly honors the glory of God.”
Due to the age of the three existing churches, maintenance expenses are high.
“We have financial obligations to all of these spaces,” said Father Murphy. “It’s a drain on our resources to have to pay for all these different places at the same time, especially when not all of them generate income for the parish.”
The new church will have predominantly modern features and will incorporate elements of the old worship spaces. For example, statues from previous churches will be restored. In honor of the devotion of Hispanics in the parish, an image or statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe will also be on display. The new worship space will be able to accommodate 800 people.
Most of the investment will go inside the church, Father Murphy said.
JRS Architects, Inc. in Baltimore, a local company that previously worked with the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is the architect in charge of the design of the new church.
Father Murphy estimates the church will cost $ 8 million and open in 2025, if all goes as planned. In addition to the money raised from the sale of existing properties, the parish hopes to launch a fundraising campaign.
“The fact that we are a parish that needs to build a new church means that we are growing,” said Father Murphy. “The Holy Spirit forces us to move on, and I think a lot of people feel the same way.”
Send an email to Priscila González de Doran at [email protected]
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