The following comes from a July 26 story in the Inland Byte, the web version of the San Bernadino diocese paper.

While the great recession made it more difficult to raise money for new church construction over the past five years, the need for more worship space in many parishes has only increased.

Now, with early signs of economic recovery in the region and a new diocesan design template that significantly lowers construction costs, several parishes are making headway in their efforts to build new churches, education centers and multi-purpose spaces. In all, 21 parishes are proceeding with plans for major new construction or renovation….

If the current schedule holds, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta parish – which has worshipped in the back room of the Moose Lodge in Winchester since it was created in 2006 – will begin grading work on a new 650-seat church in November. In June, the parish community gathered for a blessing of the property at Whisper Heights Parkway and Winchester Road where the church will be built….

Another parish created in 2006, The Holy Name of Jesus in Redlands, recently saw the Diocesan Building Committee approve its master plan for a new campus that includes a church, education center and multi-purpose building. The new campus will bring together the two existing parish sites, located on Columbia Avenue and on Olive Avenue, on a 20-acre property north of Lugonia Avenue between Dearborn and Judson avenues….

In the eastern Coachella Valley, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe hopes to begin grading work on a permanent new church in August that will replace the sprung building that was erected at the Mecca parish in 2008. Parishioners and benefactors from throughout the Coachella Valley have helped to raise the $4 million needed to build the 1,100-seat church. Father Howard Lincoln, pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Palm Desert, led the fundraising efforts….

The diocese is taking a more active role in the construction of a new church for St. James Parish in Perris, serving as the project manager. Along with the design template, the diocese assuming the role of project manager cuts project costs to the point where a new church is achievable for parish communities, Meier said. The St. James parish community has raised much of the construction costs already and has secured a new location for the proposed 1,500-seat church near Dunlap Road and Nuevo Road. Meier said construction of the church could begin in about a year.

Parishioners of Queen of Angels parish in Riverside have been waiting decades for a church that could accommodate weekend Mass crowds. The parish has celebrated weekend Masses in its hall since that building was constructed in 1988, with overflow watching a video feed of the liturgy in the 54-year-old church that seats only 240. But by this time next year, construction to build a new 1,500-seat church could be under way, Meier said….

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