After a nine-year planning process and more than five years of fundraising for construction of three new buildings and a parking garage, St. Monica Catholic Community will officially open their new facilities at 725 California Avenue on Sunday, Nov. 3.
The Santa Monica parish will host a building dedication and Mass at 1:15 pm with Archbishop José Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as celebrant.
Following the Mass, there will be a reception with tours of the facilities, live entertainment by the Phil Cordaro Jazz Trio, and a food festival with local area restaurants including Joe’s in Venice, Marmalade Café, Camacho’s Inc., JiRaffe, La Monarca Bakery, Il Ristorante de Georgio Baldi, Kikka Sushi, and Chef Derek Brandon Walker of St. Joseph’s Center and winner of “Chopped.”
The event is open to the public.
“This is the day we have all been waiting for,” said Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson, pastor. “God has graced our parish with the faithful whose numbers have increased, challenging our ability to welcome and serve them properly. These great facilities will allow us to answer the Gospel challenge in new and exciting ways as we form loving disciples who will transform the world.”
These new facilities will add 103,647 square feet to the St. Monica campus and include the Tina and Rick Caruso Community Center, Grand Pavilion and Grand Patio, the Carol G. Simon Child and Student Center, and a two-and-a-half level subterranean parking garage.
The Tina and Rick Caruso Community Center features 17,600 square feet of assembly and meeting spaces (available for rental by the general public), administrative offices, the St. André Bessette Chapel, Holy Grounds, a new coffee bar and religious gifts/bookstore, and dedicated space for Hope at the Door, a ministry for the needy in the local community.
Below the community center is the parking garage with 175 parking spaces.
In line with St. Monica’s stewardship goals, this building is striving for Silver Level LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The St. André Bessette Chapel, located on the corner of Lincoln and California Avenue, features the Pillar of Light, a translucent window tower that is the project’s most prominent architectural feature and a second visual signature, after the church’s bell tower.
The Grand Pavilion, open for assemblies during the day and receptions at night and on weekends, provides seating for up to 450 and is available for rental by the general public.
The Carol G. Simon Child and Student Center will be used exclusively by St. Monica Catholic Elementary School for before and after-school programs and as a classroom during school days.
Holy Grounds will be open to the general public seven days a week and will include a gift/book shop and a coffee bar that will feature fair trade coffee from Urth Caffe in Santa Monica.
To date, St. Monica Catholic Community has raised over $28 million toward this building project through a fundraising campaign titled “Celebrating Our Blessings, Building Our Future, Together.”
This project is the first phase of two and includes not only the new facilities, but renovation of the existing St. Monica Catholic High School gymnasium, which was completed in December of 2011.
The dedication on Nov. 3 marks the completion of the first phase of the building project.
The second phase will include renovations to the basement of the gym along with a new schoolyard scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014.
Since 1994, the parish at St. Monica has nearly tripled in size to more than 8,000 registered households, from throughout the greater Los Angeles area, making it one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. These new facilities are designed to accommodate this previous growth and not for the parish to grow larger.
St. Monica Catholic Community includes St. Monica Catholic Church, St. Monica Catholic High School, and St. Monica Catholic Elementary School.
St. Monica Catholic Church, founded in 1886 and at its current location since 1926, serves a congregation of more than 8,000 registered households.
The elementary school, which joined the campus in 1930, and the high school, which joined in 1937, provide outstanding academic and faith formation programs for students in grades K through 12 primarily from West and South Los Angeles.