Parishioners of Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Our Lady in Tuckahoe have a parish center for generations to come, which Cardinal Dolan blessed and dedicated June 26.
The blessing and dedication, attended by about 50 people, was followed by a parish family barbecue with entertainment and children’s activities. More than 200 people were expected at the barbecue.
Father Anthony Sorgie, pastor since 2018, told CNY he expects the new center to be put to good use.
“This is extremely exciting because it began quite practically on this beautiful, big campus of 12 acres,” Father Sorgie said. “We had to go to different places to have meetings. You would open the whole school for one meeting.”
The parish center project repurposed about a sixth of Immaculate Conception School and includes parish offices, four meeting rooms, staff kitchen and the Divine Mercy Chapel, which seats about 25 people and may be used for smaller sacramental ceremonies, Masses, Eucharistic adoration and daily visitors seeking to pray.
The project cost about $500,000, and the funds came from the parish’s Renew + Rebuild campaign, which raised $2.6 million.
“They are some of the most generous, committed Catholics that I ever had the privilege of working with and shepherding,” said Father Sorgie about his parishioners.
“They’re incredibly generous. This will be for them, their children and their children’s children.”
The school, which dates back to 1911 and was staffed by the Franciscan Sisters of Hastings-on-Hudson, opened in its current location in 1928 and once served 1,100 children. There were about 300 children enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year.
The parish, with 3,000 registered families, became a merged parish in 2015, combining churches of Immaculate Conception, which seats 600, and Assumption of Our Lady, which seats 300.
“It’s an active parish and prior to converting part of the school to the parish center, we were always stretched for space,” said Bob Thomson, a 58-year-old member of the parish financial council and one of the parish trustees.
“The facility is very nice. There is enough space for meetings. It’s a very bright environment even though it’s partially below ground. It’s accessible by being next to the church. It has a chapel in it, which is great.”
Joanne Chirico, 60, serves on the parish’s pastoral council and said the parish center is better than originally expected.
“Father Sorgie saw the need for this and when the capital campaign came, we realized this was doable,” she said. “The space we have now is for everybody.
“It’s a beautiful addition to the parish. It’s going to be good for the parish for many years.”