Clonmel parish breaks ground for new church

An artist’s rendering of the new church for St. John Parish in Clonmel. It is schedule to be finished by February 2024. (Image courtesy Shelden Architecture)

Bishop Carl A. Kemme and parishioners of St. John Parish in Clonmel broke ground for a new church Sunday, Nov. 20.

Wayne Youngers, a member of the parish’s building committee, said after the event that the ceremony took place as the result of three years of meetings and planning.
“We were at a point of needing to put money into our existing church,” he said. “With the growth of the parish and for the future of the parish we decided – with the parish input – to build a new church.”

A traditional church

A proposal made to the parish was favorably received, Youngers said of the building he describes as a traditional type of church. It will feature a choir loft and a Communion rail.

“An adoration chapel was one of the big things the parish wanted,” he said.

Working through the pandemic that resulted in shortages and inflation resulted in many more prayers regarding the project, he said. “It’s taken this long because of the interruptions.”

The parish had a successful capital campaign, Youngers added. “We’ve got a lot of young people in the parish and the young people really stepped up.”
Construction is projected to be complete by February 2024.

Rectory to become offices

The existing rectory, located west of the church, will be converted into parish offices. A new rectory, which is about half complete and not a part of the capital campaign, has been donated, Youngers said, by very generous parishioners.

The construction of the new church is the parish planning for the future, he said.

“Our parents and grandparents put the existing church there and it’s time for us to put a church there for the next generations, to make sure the next 100 years is well taken care of with the church.”

The parish has engaged Randy Crook of Shelden Architecture and Dondlinger Construction, both of Wichita, for the new church.
Clonmel is 17 miles southwest of Wichita.