The Most Reverend Michael A. Saltarelli, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, was downstate Aug. 14 for the dedication of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a mission church of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bethany Beach.
During the two-hour dedication mass, parishioners packed into the mission church off of Route 17 in Roxana, with standing room only. They watched as the traditional blessing, consecrating with oil and incensing of the altar transpired, as did the lighting of the dedication candles and the anointing of the walls.
Joining Saltarelli were the Revs. David F. Kelley and Michael P. Darcy of the Parish of St. Ann, Deacon of the Word John Freebury, Deacon of the Eucharist Dennis Hayden and assisting deacons Edward Danko, Donald Lydick and Robert Tracy, along with many other priests of the diocese.
The dedication ceremony was the culmination of seven years of planning and work for the parishioners at St. Ann’s. After years of planning and fundraising, actual construction started in the spring of 2007. The building was finished in May, but the dedication mass was delayed nearly two months as the parish cleared up issues with their permit for the entrance on Route 17.
The 11,397-square-foot church can hold 600 people. Plans are for it to be open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays, to start.
“It’s to replace the overflow masses that we now hold in Delaney Hall and to alleviate some of the Route 26 traffic,” said Frank Duchesne, chairman of the Building Committee for St. Ann’s, back in May.
For pictures from the church’s groundbreaking ceremony, through all phases of construction, to the present, visit www.stannsbethany.org online.