Bishop Álvaro Corrada, SJ, former Bishop of Tyler, blessed a new parish hall named for him at Christ the King Church in Kilgore Feb. 19.
The Bishop Alvaro Corrada Family and Parish Center is an 8,625-square foot structure that incorporates the existing and renovated hall with new construction. It includes a fully equipped professional kitchen and pantry, expanded restrooms including a family bathroom, a bookstore/gift shop, conference room, large sacristy, an outdoor patio, expanded storage, and new parking.
The project cost about $900,000. Father Dan Dower, Christ the King pastor, acted as general contractor. Architects for the project were Newman Marchive Carlisle, Inc., of Shreveport, La.
Construction of the hall completes phase one of the parish’s building plans. Bishop Joseph E. Strickland recently gave his permission for the parish to proceed to phase two, which is construction of a new church. That project is expected to be completed next year.
Father Dower said the new hall was necessitated by the parish’s growth.
“We have approximately 800 families in the parish,” he said. “Our old hall, which was built in 1982, could only comfortably accommodate 100 people. The new hall can easily seat 450.”
Father Dower said the hall was named for Bishop Corrada because “it was Bishop Corrada who gave permission to Father Matias Rodriguez several years ago to begin making plans to build a new church. In 2011 he sent me here to get it built. We also wanted to honor the diocese’s first Hispanic bishop in a special way.”
At the weekend Masses in English and Spanish preceding the blessing, Bishop Corrada “spoke about a parish community being more than a building, but also the need for the place where we worship to be a reflection of our faith and expression of our hope for the future,” Father Dower said. “He, of course, also expressed his thanks for the honor of having the building named after him.”
Bishop Corrada was in East Texas to take part in the Feb. 17 Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Diocese of Tyler. He was the third Bishop of Tyler, 2001-2011, before being named to the Diocese of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. During his episcopate, he promulgated the Call to Holiness, the Christian Initiation process, the Renewal of the Liturgy, and, with Linda Khirallah Porter, diocesan Director of Faith Formation, the 16 goals of catechesis to standardize faith formation in the diocese. He also brought the diocese to national prominence for its success in recruiting and educating seminarians to be ordained priests for the diocese.