Mission almost accomplished at new church

Our Lady of Guadalupe, the mission church of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bethany Beach, located off of Route 17, is nearing the end of its seven-year gestation.

By Monica Fleming: Our Lady of Guadalupe will soon be open for parishioners.By Monica Fleming
Our Lady of Guadalupe will soon be open for parishioners.

After the parish formed a building committee, plans got under way to bring the mission church from conception to reality.

“The parish first did a demographic survey, and then the property was purchased by the Diocese [of Wilmington], and we proceeded to hire architects, engineers, and developed plans and speculations,” explained Frank Duchesne, chairman of the Building Committee for St. Ann’s. “We’ve been working on it since 2001,” he continued.

Actual construction started in the spring of 2007, and the building is now finished. The final challenge involves completing the entrance driveway.

The 11,397-square-foot mission church will be able to hold 600 people and will be a second location for the parish of St. Ann’s in Bethany Beach. 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 Duchesne.

“It’s been a long process.” said Duchesne. “I’m looking forward to having it completed!”

The dedication of the mission church by the Most Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, originally scheduled for mid-May, will take place once everything is completed.

For pictures from the groundbreaking ceremony, through all phases of construction, to the present, visit www.stannsbethany.org online.