Editor: a Cal Catholic researcher contacted St. Charles and was told they hoped to have parish finished by this Easter, 2022.
The following comes from an Oct. 21, 2019 story in the Visalia Times.
The largest Catholic church in the western United States will soon have a home — in Visalia.
Construction crews broke ground last week on the future site of St. Charles Borromeo — the largest seating-capacity Catholic church in the country, located on Akers Street and Caldwell Avenue in southwest Visalia’s Church Corner.
“It is such a wonderful thing to build a church,” said Joseph Brennan, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. “It’s one thing to build a church, a building. It is quite another thing to build a community of faith.”
St. Charles Borromeo will seat more than 3,000 parishioners. The groundbreaking comes after years of stops and starts and fundraising campaigns to get the project shovel-ready.
“It’s been a long time in the making. I’m glad they finally broke ground,” parishioner Elaine Carrasco said. “The church has owned this property for decades.”
She added that it will benefit priests who “won’t feel so rushed” to travel to each of Visalia’s worship facilities while providing a centralized place for the growing parish’s thousands of families to congregate comfortably.
Construction of the 33,825-square-foot church is expected to take 18 months and will reflect a “California mission-inspired” aesthetic.
“(St. Charles Borromeo) is a landmark for the Diocese of Fresno,” said Jacob Alexander, a 16-year-old who has worshiped with the parish his entire life.
Good Shepherd Catholic Parish of Visalia is comprised of four churches: Holy Family, St. Mary’s, St. Charles Borromeo and St. Thomas The Apostle in Goshen….
Today, the parish is home to approximately 11,000 Catholic families and offers numerous ministries and services….
The expansion was the vision of Bishop John Thomas Steinbock who presided over the Fresno diocese from 1991 until his death in 2010. Succeeding bishops continued Steinbock’s vision culminating in Tuesday’s groundbreaking.
St. Charles is the parish’s newest church community.
The current facility opened in 2011 and is named after the famous bishop-saint of Milan, Italy, who was instrumental in establishing Catholic education and seminaries throughout the church.
St. Charles Borromeo Church will serve Visalia’s southwest quadrant but is available to all parishioners.
“I am thrilled that we are embarking on a very challenging and difficult phase of this project, but our project is to grow faith and love,” Brennan said. “I know that the level of giving being asked isn’t easy for most families …. It’s doable but it would stretch people’s budgets and pocketbooks….”