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St. Mary's Announces Major Construction Plans


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St. Mary's Parish has purchased the former doctor's office next to the Rectory (the brick building on the left). Besides renovating this building the parish is planning several other construction projects. (photo credit CNBNewsnet)

William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet

GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (April 16, 2018)(CNBNewsnet)— The parish of St. Mary has purchased the former physician's office building at 420 Monmouth Street which is next door to the Rectory at 424 Monmouth Street. The office building has been up for sale for some time. The asking price was $98,000. What it sold for is not known.

Some of the money for the upcoming construction at St. Mary is coming from a new program available in the Camden Diocese called Catholic Strong.

According to the Diocese, "70 percent of the funds raised at each parish will remain at that parish in order to address local needs. These funds will provide each parish the ability to grow ministries, increase evangelization efforts, complete capital improvements, reduce debt, and focus on other critical concerns. Because each parish is unique, parishes will determine for themselves how best to utilize their share of the funds raised. Parishioners are encouraged to take an active part in the campaign at the local level and fully support the mission of their parish."


Monsignor Bill Hodge, pastor of St. Mary, explained the upcoming plans on Sunday in the parish bulletin"

"Through your generosity and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will make many long-held dreams a reality here at Saint Mary's by focusing our 70% towards the following:  Church Community Center = Funds from this campaign will be used to purchase and renovate a nearby building that will become "Saint Mary's Catholic Community Center" and will enhance our sense of community and serve as a gathering and meeting space.  Cost $269,500."
"Capital Improvements-Complete renovations of the church and rectory.  Including:  Paint interior and exterior of the church and rectory;
Repair rotting wood on the church and rectory; Necessary updates to the bell tower; Replace lighting in the steeple; Replace the carpet in church vestibule and repair front doors of the church; Repave the back parking lot and New church restroom.  Cost $143,000"
"Ministries, Programs and Services-Provide funding for a part-time youth director and for the youth ministry program; Provide funding for community programs that offer critical services to families and individuals in need including:  An interfaith addiction support program to counsel families in distress with loved ones suffering from addiction; A resource for expectant mothers that will provide housing, childcare, medical services, and nutrition and cooking classes.   Cost $472,500"
"So far from 28 households St. Mary's has raised $203,960."

Recently the Gloucester City Planning/Zoning Board approved the parish of Saint Mary's request for a variance to use 420 Monmouth Street for office space.

Last year the parish sold the former Gloucester Catholic High School boy's annex to WEBO, a Philadelphia developer. When asked about the plans for the building Rich Lauletta one of the principals of the company, said at the time, "We have a few different ideas for the school, but I assure you they all include keeping and preserving that amazing building!"

That building was listed at $495,000. It is not known what it sold for.

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