MATTER OF FAITH: Parish moves into new home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

MATTER OF FAITH: Parish moves into new home

WAVERLY (KWWL)-- St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waverly has a new home.

The parish at St.  Mary's in Waverly has moved into their new home.

"It's much more than I ever imagined and I think for everybody working on this project it's more than we ever imagined," says Father Mike Tauke, of St. Mary Catholic Church.

The new church is all on one level, making access easier and has a large community hall and kitchen attached to the sanctuary.

The sanctuary itself has twice the seating of the old church, leaving plenty of room for options.

"Make a promise when sat down in seats in church for the first time they should not plant themselves there of that first time. That they had to experiment and move around the church, finding different locations and look out different windows and people have been enjoying that type of thing and they appreciate not only the size, but they're loving the acoustics that are inside the church because when we sing it really is a full body sing," said Father Tauke.

The new building is more than eight years in the works. With more and more younger families attending services, church leaders wanted a place to grow and welcome even more people.

"The whole theme of this church is built on the theme all are welcome. So that's the part we want people to feel, that once you come here we're embracing you and saying we want you to feel at home here," said Father Tauke.

This church couldn't have opened at a better time. The old church in downtown Waverly flooded in June.

At the farewell mass in November, the church was only 38 degrees because flood waters ruined the furnace.

Despite flood damage, leaving the old church was hard for some members.

"It really was bittersweet,'' said Ted Scheidel, the co-chair of the transition committee. '' A lot of older folks had a hard time letting go of the facility. It had been apart of our lives for so many years. We celebrate first communions, baptisms, confirmations, wedding, funerals of those are events or milestones or chapters in our lives. So you become very comfortable. So the transition process was kind of to help people make that move and the letting go."

Letting go, but not forgetting. A transitional dvd was made for members to help keep all the old memories alive.

But, it was time for new memories and a new chapter in furthering the church's mission.

Online Reporter: Danielle Wagner

Online Producer: Michelle Caldwell

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