The dream is realized

From the beginning the parish retained a vision of a permanent church. This dream of a new parish church began to take shape in the spring of 1980 as the parish appeal, known as OPUS DEI - the work of God, began. The announcement of this monumental project was made to the parish family on April 20 in a special homily.  Father Sean O'Shea, pastor of Holy Cross at that time, formed committees to raise funds and draw up plans for the permanent church. Thirty committee members, directed by Father O'Shea, met weekly for seven weeks. In addition, approxi­mately 70 parish volunteers made personal visits to each family in order to insure total participation. A final eighth meeting, called Impact Day, concluded the mass canvass­ing made of parish families. Funds of $1.8 million were raised, and the parish dream began to materialize as the ground breaking for the new Church building took place on No­vember 1, 1981. This ceremony officially began the con­struction phase of the new structure.

Construction of the new building at the 27th and Plum site actually began in November. Jost & Weins Construc­tion Co. was selected as general contractor. The architec­tural firm for the building project was Miller-Dronberger-­Arbuckle-Walker and McLain.

Parishioners witnessed the progress of the construction weekly as they attended Mass. The placement of the stee­ple on the 100-foot bell tower and the completion of the Rose Window over the choir loft were chronicled in the local newspaper.

It was in the spring of 1983 that the parish dream finally seemed a reality. On April 24, parishioners shared in the ceremony in which the cornerstone of the church was laid. Twenty-five items were included in the copper box which was set in place behind the cornerstone.

In an editorial in the October 16 issue of "The Hutchinson News," the church was lauded as "a magnificent addition to the community. .. " The writer saw the scope of the project and its "sterling results" as a source of great pride for Holy Cross parishioners and citizens of Hutchinson.

Indeed, parishioners had reason for pride in the new facility. They had pledged $1.75 million for the church and, in October, it became the fourth church in the Wichita diocese to become both dedicated and consecrated.