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Former St. Agnes Church, school is sold

After nearly 130 years as a neighborhood anchor for the Catholic faithful, the former St. Agnes Church in Omaha has been sold.
Foundations Development, an Omaha company, purchased the former parish’s property from the archdiocese Feb. 20. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Originally merged in the late 1990s with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, St. Agnes became part of a 2014 consolidation of east Omaha parishes when Our Lady of Guadalupe-St. Agnes Parish merged with Assumption Parish to form Assumption-Guadalupe Parish. 
Until about two years ago, St. Agnes Church continued to be used for worship, and until recent months, the former school was used for religious education classes.
But the buildings have deteriorated past the point of repair, said Father Carl Zoucha, pastor. Problems included the boiler, a shifting church foundation and roof leaks.
The property occupies more than an acre and includes a convent and rectory, said Rob Woodling, president of Foundations Development.
There are no current plans or timetable for redevelopment, but it probably will include some form of housing, he said. 
Woodling, a member of Mary Our Queen Parish in Omaha, said one focus of his firm is redeveloping properties into affordable housing.
His firm purchased the former St. Ann Parish property in Omaha, tore down the church and built family apartments. It also purchased the former St. Patrick Parish property in Omaha, tearing down the church, rectory and gymnasium with plans to rehabilitate the school into apartments for low- to middle-income people and seniors.
Founded in 1886, with the church dedicated in 1889, St. Agnes Parish in its early days primarily served people of Irish descent. It later served people from a variety of backgrounds, and eventually a growing Latino community, Father Zoucha said.
“Former parishioners are thankful for the life of the parish they’ve had, but realize the time had come,” he said.

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