COLLINSVILLE — “There were struggles along the way and there were challenges for us as we began this journey of how we would face the reality of a highway and how it would affect our entrance,” said Father John Beveridge, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Collinsville. “And we realized that the Lord was there all along the way telling us to take that next step, to be couragous, don’t be afraid, continue to open ourselves up to his grace, I am there for you always.”
The parish endured some anxious moments several years ago when state highway officials decided to upgrade llinois Route 159 through Collinsville. The final design effectively cut off the original entrance to the church building that was constructed in 1966.
Father Beveridge spoke on behalf of his entire parish family as they welcomed Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to bless the new addition to the church following the morning Mass on June 25.
During his homily, Bishop Paprocki noted the special place the physical church holds in the greater understanding of the eternal church.
“Blessing of your new parish offices and gathering space then, should serve as a renewal in your commitment to the celebration of your faith, especially in the Mass, so that all of the activities which will take place there will be guided and sustained by the power of God, thus ensuring the greatest use of this new space as a place where you will all be built up in Christ Jesus as the household of God, pleasing to the Lord,” the bishop said.
At a cost of more than $4 million, the new entrance and gathering space features a large fellowship hall seating up to 250 in the lower level with a new elevator making all facilities readily accessible.
“The Lord too wants us to be a welcoming people who extend our arms and our hearts in loving service,” said Father Beveridge.