Parish center to include new outreach facility

The four pillars of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha – faith, family, fellowship and service – are guiding the design of its parish center.

One big component of the new facility will be an outreach center, with counseling and educational services, and an expanded food pantry, with wider choices for patrons. It emphasizes the service element and is in line with a key part of the archdiocese’s pastoral vision – living mercy, parish and archdiocesan leaders said.

"St. Vincent’s Outreach Center fits very beautifully with our recently articulated diocesan pastoral vision," Archbishop George J. Lucas says in a video made by the parish to promote the center. "One of our pastoral priorities is to create a culture where mercy is both received and lives, and it can be shared."

Already, the parish has raised $5.3 million toward the $7.8 million project, which also will pay off the remaining church loan. Groundbreaking is set for spring 2018; completion is expected by Easter of 2019.

The center – the last major facility in the parish’s original 1992 master plan – will provide a more visible presence and wider service for the parish’s ministries, said Father Daniel Kampschneider, pastor. It will include new partnerships with area community groups and many volunteer opportunities for the parish’s 3,000 families and the students at St. Vincent de Paul School, he said.

"Our commitment to growing our ministry to serve the poor is a top priority for our parish, as our patron saint is St. Vincent de Paul, who served the poor," he said.

In recent years, St. Vincent de Paul has doubled the number of people it is serving, and needs continue to grow in west Omaha, said Tammy Blossom, chair of the parish center’s steering committee.

"There are more economic challenges, and impoverished, unemployed and mentally challenged individuals who need assistance from a comprehensive outreach center and food pantry like we will offer at St. Vincent de Paul Parish," she said.

"The counseling services are as critical as the food pantry assistance, as we will offer self-help and educational programming on financial management, family services, children and teen programming, and other important services," Blossom said.

The two-story, 22,000-square-foot facility also will feature a 500-person hall for receptions, funeral luncheons, conferences, large events and extra Masses during the holidays, plus six flexible meeting rooms, a lobby with conversation areas, coffee bar and café, a teen ministry area, and a child care room.

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