Bishop blesses Apostle Build ’09 building site

Holy water flies out of an aspergillum as Bishop Michael O. Jackels blesses the 2009 Apostle Build site. The house will be constructed during October. (Advance photo)

By Christopher M. Riggs
WICHITA – The ceremonies are over and the hammers will soon start swinging for Apostle Build 2009.
Bishop Michael O. Jackels blessed the building lot, and sponsors and others involved in the project turned soil to the applause of almost 40 people who attended a ground-breaking Friday, Aug. 21, in the 500 block of 32nd Circle.
Father Kenneth Schuckman, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Colwich, said the project “helps us to live out the Gospel mandate to shelter the homeless and gives us the opportunity to build on social justice – to reach out to those who need. I really look forward to my parishioners being a part of it because the more who are involved the more of a catalyst it is for us to continue.”
Linda Stewart, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, shares a few thoughts before the blessing. (Advance photo)Apostle Build is a project of Wichita metro Catholic parishes, institutions, and organizations to pool resources to build one home every October in cooperation with Wichita Habitat for Humanity.
Tama Dutton, director of the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Office, said Apostle Build is not only a way for the faithful to participate in a corporal work of mercy, the project is also a reflection of the TOGETHER vision.
“Bishop Jackels wants to strengthen the oneness among the parishes of the diocese,” Dutton said, “in addition to deepening our practice of stewardship as a way of life. Apostle Build does all that and allows us to practice social justice.”
The Apostle Build offers a hand up, not a handout to low-income families who dream at owning a home, she added.
This year’s effort – the dioceses’ second – was much easier, Dutton said, because those involved didn’t have to re-learn how Habitat for Humanity does things. “This year we were smarter, we did everything online,” she added, referring to volunteer recruitment.
Partner families must contribute 250 to 400 hours of labor, attend homebuyer and consumer education classes, and show the ability to repay a 20-year, 0 percent interest mortgage. The project partners have raised $60,000 to build the house.
Volunteers will work between Oct. 6-31, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The house is scheduled to be dedicated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. The project will be Habitat for Humanity’s 118th home in Wichita.
The Edgebrook Village, where the building site is located, will have at completion 42 houses and a pocket park. To date Habitat has completed 31 houses and will build through completion another seven for occupancy by Thanksgiving. That will leave four lots to complete in early 2010.