St. Patrick acquires land for parish expansion

Parishioners join Haggard family in generous gift to the Church in Morristown

By Emily Booker

Through generous gifts, St. Patrick Parish in Morristown has acquired 3.3 acres of land adjacent to the parish property to aid with parish expansion.

The Haggard family donated 2.3 acres of land in memory of community leader and philanthropist George O. Haggard Jr., who was an active parishioner at St. Patrick.

A group of families in the parish, who wish to remain anonymous, bought the additional acre of land that separated the donated land from the parish property.

Pastor Father Miguel Velez-Cardona is grateful that the parish was able to acquire the land, which sits behind the parish property, at this time.

The parish has seen tremendous growth in recent years, according to Father Velez, and the additional land will help the parish accommodate that growth.

Set on Andrew Johnson Highway in the heart of Morristown, St. Patrick is locked in in every other direction. It was important to the parish to acquire this land now before it was bought and developed.

The generosity of the donors made it possible for St. Patrick to secure the space to plan for its future and meet the needs of a growing, active parish.

“Everything began with the need we have for an expansion in our church,” Father Velez said. “Right now, the population is growing fast, so we have problems with parking space. We added an extra Mass on Sunday just to make things easier for people in terms of parking.”

“Another thing we need to think about is more meeting space. As I said, the parish is growing, the Hispanic community is growing fast, and there are many new people coming to town. So, we need more space for meetings, too,” the pastor added.

In coming months, St. Patrick’s parish council will be meeting with engineers and architects to formulate a plan on how to best use the land to accommodate the needs of the parish.

“I want to express how thankful we are to the Haggard family and the people who put together the money to buy the other acre of land,” Father Velez said. “Thanks to them and their love of the parish, all these things are happening now, and we are able to expand our parish, not only in the territory of the parish but also in growing this community of faith.”

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