Guardian Angels Parish has broken ground on its new youth and young adult center, Blessed Carlo Acutis Hall.

The 2,500-square-foot, one-story building is expected to be completed in early 2022. It was named in honor of an Italian teenager on track to become the first millennial saint.

Bishop Robert McElroy blessed the construction site and took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking Sept. 19 after presiding at the parish’s 10 a.m. Sunday Mass.

“I just can’t believe that it’s actually happening,” Ayla Grazier said of the new building.

A lifelong parishioner who grew up attending the parish’s youth and young adult groups, Grazier now coordinates youth and young adult ministry at the parish.

She said the new center shows the parish’s commitment to its younger members, describing it as a “physical symbol that they belong here.”

The new center will also be used for “drop-in times after school,” Grazier said. It will provide a safe environment where youth will be able to do homework or hang out with friends after classes, under the supervision of a parish staff member.

“This building means so much to me … I’m super-excited because it’s like a new place for the youth to enjoy and be around kids just like them, even if it’s just for homework or a place to hang out because you are bored at home,” said Eli Perez, 17. “Like Ayla always said, we are like family; you have people here who care for you.”

Full story at The Southern Cross.