Groundbreaking for new Catholic center held on Southeast Mo. State campus

Updated: Mar. 8, 2020 at 5:57 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Cape Girardeau broke ground at the site in the 500 block of Pacific Street on Sunday for the new Saint John Henry Newman Center.

This is at the site where the existing campus ministry is housed at currently.

Three existing buildings that make up the current Catholic Campus Ministry will be torn down. CCM staff will be working out of temporary quarters provided by the university.

"The programs have advanced so much over probably the last 20 years," The Most Rev. Bishop Edward M. Rice said. "What we had was sufficient for the day but it's not longer sufficient. We need more modern facilities. We have three haphazard buildings not even connected, so we'll have one central campus."

While construction is ongoing, the diocese reports that school officials have agreed to provide an academic auditorium, the Rose Theatre at the nearby English building, for use during Sunday morning Mass.

Organization members say they are very dedicated to provide this new facility to help the students and others find the meaning of their Catholic faith and services they can attend.

“The youth today struggles an awful lot with world relativism, the things that don’t give them meaning to life,” Building Committee Chairman Dennis Vollink said. “They’re trying to find that and we know the best way to find that is in God.”

Construction and demolition is planned to begin for next week. Completion of the facility is planned for the fall of 2021.

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