Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church is planning a grand church of the future.

“We don’t have enough space for people,” Father Mark Kusmirek said. “Our ministries are taking off, and we just don’t have enough room.”

Our Lady of Sorrows has about 1,000 members attending on of four Sunday services. The current church seats only 220 for mass, but Kusmirek envisions a church that can seat 800-1,000 people.

To relieve some of the overcrowding in the chapel, Our Lady of Sorrows began an intergenerational mass in the parish hall, where 120-180 parents attend on Sundays with their children. The chapel is still overflowing, which Kusmirek said, proves that “if we have more space, more people will come.”

Last summer, the church began looking for architects to create a design concept. In August, a consultant met with 10 percent of the parish and asked what they hoped to see, or what they wanted added to a design.

A Guatemalan-native architect out of Houston produced the first rough sketches of the project last month. The concept incorporates traditional Catholic architecture with Spanish influences. Initial sketches plan for a Spanish-inspired church and courtyard, and several small playgrounds across the property.

“His concept is gathering places for people, places where they can walk and talk and visit,” Kusmirek said.

The church has purchased and cleared seven acres of land west of the church, and is in the process of acquiring another six acres east to more than double the church’s current property size.

“The people want to do things, and they want to see something,” Kusmirek said.

Kusmirek was called as priest to Our Lady of Sorrows a year ago, but has only served the church in a full-time capacity for eight months. Even in that short time, he has seen mass attendance rise. Sunday school attendance is growing as well — from 200 last year, to 250 in August, and to about 300 today. He attributes the program’s success to Ana Paredes, director of religious education, and a general church revival.

“I think we are just dusting things off, and sharing with people how great things have always been,” Kusmirek said.

Kusmirek stressed these plans are in the very early stages of development.

“This may be a five, 10, 20 year project when complete,” he said.

Twenty members of the parish met Jan. 6 to discuss possible fundraising campaigns for the project.

Kusmirek is waiting to reveal the drawings next month, when a detailed master plan is expected to be finished. He is planning a “full coming out party” for the new design, and hopes to firmly establish committees for the project.

Next Week: Beall Chapel Baptist Church is ready for the “Year of Progress.”

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