Parishioners, clergy and staff joined Archbishop William E. Lori for a June 18 groundbreaking on the first of three phases of a new parish complex at the site of the former Blob’s Park.
The new campus is on the southeast corner of the intersection of Baltimore-Washington Parkway and State Route 175. St. Lawrence Martyr’s 120-seat church, completed in 1868, is on the southwest corner of that cloverleaf, where the expansion of SR 175 will soon cut off access.
According to Michael Levesque, a parish historian, St. Lawrence Martyr considered expansion or building a larger church elsewhere as far back as 1966, on the occasion of its centennial.
The surrounding road construction is in response to exponential population growth in the region, highlighting the necessity of a new church in a different location.
Under a cloudless sky, Father Scocco, Archbishop Lori and others helped turn ground on the first of three phases of construction at the site.
Phase one, scheduled to be completed by June 2017, is a single-floor structure of approximately 19,000 square feet, being built by Hanover-based Conewago Enterprises Inc. It will include parish offices, classrooms and a 350-seat worship space that will be converted for other purposes after the completion of a 1,000-seat church, phase two.
“A lot of that depends on how quickly we take care of phase one,” Father Scocco said, when asked for a timetable on the new, permanent church.
A sketch shows the front elevation of the new St. Lawrence Martyr campus, which will be located on the site of the former Blob’s Park in Jessup. (Courtesy St. Lawrence Martyr)
Cameron Rogers, a rising senior at Hood College in Frederick, is a summer intern for the Catholic Review.