St. Francis Xavier Parish on Central Avenue near Camelback Road in Phoenix is ready for complete its master plan. Prep work began this week for construction of a parish education center. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
St. Francis Xavier Parish on Central Avenue near Camelback Road in Phoenix is ready for complete its master plan. Prep work began this week for construction of a parish education center. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

Visitors will find another construction zone at St. Francis Xavier beginning this week. This time, it’s not the school, but the parish benefiting from the latest grant supporting the capital campaign.

A grant from the Anderson Family Foundation and matching gifts expedited construction. The current project focuses on building a parish hall that will double as an education and community outreach center.

All administrative offices have been temporarily relocated off site while the reception office and primary point of contact for the general public has moved to the Marian Shop’s front alcove near the church’s front entrance. Phone numbers remain unchanged, but the parish office will be closed on Saturdays during construction.

[quote_box_right]Updated parking info

Get the latest parking directions and maps in the bulletin[/quote_box_right]The project will also reduce parking at the east and south ends of parish property, but an additional 70 parking spots should emerge in the process. Massgoers will use temporary walkways to access the church and valet service will cater to those requiring closer proximity to the church. Construction is expected to move swiftly in July to enable expanded parking to the east and modified driveway access to the church and school.

“School will begin again in mid-August and it is our goal to have this aspect complete prior to the return of students,” Jesuit Father Dan Sullivan said via a press release.

New parish center

An artist's rendering of St. Francis Xavier's master plan will provide for a parish education center and shaded walkways. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
An artist’s rendering of St. Francis Xavier’s master plan will provide ample meeting space for the parish’s 170 religious and educational programs, shaded walkways on a cohesive campus. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

The new Parish Center — set to break ground in late August — will roughly double the current available space for parish ministries providing 34,000 square foot of space for St. Francis Xavier’s more than 170 religious and educational programs. Outreach serves parishioners, students, area residents and the community at large.

Such groups currently meet on site and in nearby business centers. The parish center will bring them all into a core meeting location following a projected 12-month build.

“This center will be the heart of our parish. We will be able to provide a broad variety of programs that highlight Ignatian and Jesuit spirituality,” Fr. Sullivan said. “Plans are being discussed to host lecture series’ and classes on spirituality, train spiritual directors, develop programs that will connect St. Francis personnel, parishioners and projects with various key initiatives throughout the state.”

The parish center will feature a new 600-seat parish hall, 50-seat chapel, conference rooms, administrative offices, kitchen, maintenance facilities, restrooms, shaded courtyard, prayer garden and upgraded landscaping. The St. Vincent de Paul Pantry will also be enlarged.

The St. Francis Xavier Capital Campaign began in the spring of 2006. By 2007 a Master Plan had been developed to include a new elementary school and faith education center, as well as, a parish hall and administrative complex. The school complex was built from 2011-2013.

[quote_box_right]Capital campaign

Lisa Shover, campaign director, (602) 315-3151[/quote_box_right]In January, 2014, The Anderson Family Foundation committed a $5 million grant to the St. Francis Capital Campaign. This grant enabled the final phase of the campus redevelopment, Realizing the Master’s Plan, to begin. The parish hall will be named in honor of Anderson’s parents, Martha and Novian, longtime parishioners of St. Francis Xavier.

St. Francis Xavier Parish is a Jesuit Catholic Faith Community located at 4715 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, Arizona.