Sunday, October 22, 2000

Church construction set to begin

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — After more than a decade as the Cincinnati Archdiocese's only parish without a permanent church, the wait for St. Maximilian Kolbe parishioners has an end in sight.

        Church officials have announced that construction on a $5.5 million church will begin next week and will finally give a permanent home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese's only church in Butler County's booming Liberty Township.

        “The wait has been like wandering in the desert,” said Karen Koss, whose family is one of St. Maximilian Kolbe's more than 1,950 families who have been attending services in a temporary facility since 1992.

        “But the end is in sight,” she said.

        The new church, which will be built on the 15-acre property of the current church site at 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road in southern Liberty Township, will hold up to 1,350 members for worship services.

        The church, created in 1989 with an initial 500 families, was formed to relieve crowding at St. John The Evangelist in adjacent West Chester Township.

        The rapid growth in St. Maximilian Kolbe's congregation since then reflects jump in residents in recent years coming to the two southeastern Butler County communities.

        West Chester's population has climbed from 37,894 residents in 1990 to more than 60,000.

        During the same period Liberty Township's population has jumped from 9,249 to more than 26,000 residents.

        The church's pastor, the Rev. John Porter, said the $5.5 million church will feature a permanent worship area with pews and kneelers. The construction plan also calls for meeting rooms and classrooms.

        The church is scheduled to be completed in December 2001, Father Porter said.


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