“It’s going to (provide) a place where we can gather as larger groups,” said Fr. Tom Smith, director of Holy Cross Retreat Center. “Right now, it’s hard for us to (fit) more than 30 people in our little chapel and so it allows us to have groups of 50 to 100 to 200 people in joyful celebration in a church that’s dedicated for prayer.”
Also attending the groundbreaking were Bishop Oscar Cantú of the Diocese of Las Cruces and Bishop Mark Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso; Minister Provincial Fr. Jim Kent and several other conventual Franciscans of Our Lady of Consolation Province.
“We’re trying to bring in history as well as the history of the Franciscan retreat centers across the Southwest from the missions in California to here, so that was one of the prime things in coming up with the design for the facility,” said Deacon Bob Brotherton, who serves at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces and is the architect of the new chapel.
The chapel will be built in three phases, with the first phase estimated to be complete in late December or early January. This phase will include construction of the chapel, sidewalks and facilities and will be open for use once this stage is complete.
Thank you to Alexia Severson for covering the groundbreaking for the Las Cruces Sun-News, where some of the information for this article appeared.