St. Michael Catholic Church Breaking Ground for New Building
Diocese of Memphis Bishop David P. Talley to Attend Event with St. Michael Pastor Fr. Benjamin P. Bradshaw
Memphis, Tenn. – December 13, 2020 — St. Michael Catholic Church today at 3pm will hold a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the start of the construction on its new office building on the Parish Campus at 3863 Summer Avenue.
St. Michael, part of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis celebrating 50 years as a Diocese, is the second largest Catholic Parish in the Memphis Diocese with more than 2,500 members made up of both Spanish and English speaking parishioners.
Fr. Ben Bradshaw, pastor, St. Michael, says the new building will house his staff in the new office space, as well as two conference-meeting rooms, an industrial size kitchen and a music room.
“We have long needed new, safe and updated space for our staff. Furthermore, we will have more room for our music ministry to meet and practice, rooms where people can come for counseling and guidance and space for other ministries.”
In the two years since Fr. Ben has been at St. Michael, there has been significant growth in the Parish, which is made of about 60 percent Hispanic families. “I like to say that we are one community with two languages. We have worked hard to find ways to be one Parish while still honoring the traditions of both communities.”
Fr. Ben, a Memphis native who is bilingual, has drawn people, both Catholic and non-Catholic, from around the city. Many say it is because they feel at home there and they like what the hear and see.
David Wedaman, who first came to St. Michael in 2018 says, “I was drawn to St. Michael because of the leadership, energy and diversity of the parish and its people. There’s momentum here…you can just feel it.”
St. Michael has, in non-COVID-19 years, about 750 Hispanic youth that attend religious education at the Parish on a weekly basis. Every weekend there is a food distribution ministry that serves up to 75 families. The Parish has also just completed an extensive renovation of its soccer fields so that youth from the Parish, as well as the surrounding community can play.
According to Fr. Ben, St. Michael has plans to grow further by hopefully adding a new Parish Hall where people have room to gather as community, seek help with family and marriage counseling, attend classes, bereavement workshops, etc.
Fr. Ben says, “Our goal is to welcome everyone, make them feel cared for as a person and family and bring them all closer to Christ and to each other. We have a clear vision of how we want to become a hub for all those seeking a place that does just that every day.” Growth, however, costs money. St. Michael has benefitted, thus far, from some significant donors who have helped fund renovation and new construction, but plans for additional growth, such as a new Parish Hall, will require support from others. Fr. Ben says, “We will continue to build our parish as best we can and trust others will want to be a part of what we are doing here in the center of the city. God will lead.”
For more information about St. Michael, please contact Tera Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.