BRUNSWICK —The new St. John’s community center and adoration chapel received a blessing by Bishop Robert. P. Deeley along with gratitude from members of the community on Sunday.

“This is a wonderful thing and has been a dream and a wish for this community for such a long time,” Deeley said at the event on March 3. “To see it come to fruition is just remarkable, and it is a testament to this community to see their dedication and their love for God and for each other.” 

“When you think of the dedication they’ve all put into this, it’s a manifestation of how great this Brunswick community really is.”

The new center, which encompasses more than 15,000 square feet, cost $4.7 million to build. It is adjacent to St. John’s Catholic School, across from St. John the Baptist Church. It’s intended for use by students, parishioners and members of the community. The sprawling multipurpose room will serve as an auditorium, gymnasium, and cafeteria. There are meeting rooms, locker rooms, and a music room in the multipurpose space along with a brand new kitchen.

The new adoration chapel is located next door to the community center.

The day’s events started with Mass at St. John the Baptist Church celebrated by Deeley, who thanked Fr. Frank J. Murray, who was pastor of All Saints Parish from 2009 to 2016 and Fr. Thomas M. Murphy, current pastor of All Saints Parish. Deeley thanked them for their leadership on the building project, as well as all of the volunteers who helped along the way.

The new center had been discussed for several decades, but plans moved forward under Murray.

The mass was attended by several hundred people, and most of them stayed to attend the blessing that followed.

Despite St. John the Baptist Church being the largest of the seven All Saints parish churches, its only gathering space was in the basement. Not only wasn’t it feasible for some people to access, it was also where students would eat lunch.

“We moved here from California and we are blown away by the work of this community and we are also glad our son has this beautiful new cafeteria to eat lunch in instead of a basement and he can learn and make new friends here,” said Brandy Papiernik, who moved with her family to Brunswick in 2015.

Papiernik also volunteers with St. John’s the Baptist Church and one of her primary duties is to walk kids from school over to the Church Hall basement.

“Now I won’t have to make that walk, either,” Papiernik said. “… the kids can come right from school to this beautiful new center.”

“It was talked about for so long, and we all thought it was a far off dream, but it actually happened and we are grateful to be a part of a community who cares about each other so much to put together a space like this for our kids.”

Papiernik said she would pay attention to the build and its progress each day she dropped her son off at school.

“What was really neat was watching it getting built. Every day dropping Wyatt off at school and seeing what was new was really exciting and amazing, and it’s great that it’s done and we can start enjoying the space.”

Patti McDonald can be reached at 780-9123 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @pmcdonaldme.

Bishop Robert P. Deeley says a prayer in the new multipurpose room at St. John’s Community Center in Brunswick on March 3, following a hymn of praise led by St. John’s students.

Hundreds of people gathered on March 3 in the new multipurpose space at St. John’s Community Center, where Bishop Robert P. Deeley blessed the crowd and the room.

Parishioners gather in the new adoration chapel on March 3, next to the new St. John’s Community Center. 

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