There are few sights as charming or goofy-smile inducing as a group of priests, dressed in full regalia, donning hard hats and plunging shovels into the ground. This was the scene at the future site of St. Charles Borromeo Church, where ground was broken on a construction project that will erect the largest Catholic church in North America.
According to the Fresno Bee, when completed, St. Charles Borromeo will become the largest parish church, seating 3,000 people. This is not to say it is larger than the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington DC — which seats about 10,000 — but St. Charles Borromeo is not a basilica, or even a cathedral. It will simply be a parish church, not the seat pf a bishop.
St. Charles Borromeo will, however, be larger than St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in New York, and the Baltimore basilica, which seat roughly 2,400 and 2,000 respectively. Located in Visalia, California, St. Charles Borromeo will to bring together several congregations from dwindling parishes.
Rev. Cesar Solorio commented in the Fresno Bee interview, featured below:
“We have to find ways of serving the masses, the great community. Part of that would be to be able to celebrate one Mass that would be able to feed 2,500 people. When Jesus did the multiplication of the bread and fish, he fed 5,000, so in a certain way we’re trying to match that and to be able to serve the needs of our community so that the priest shortage doesn’t mean that we don’t celebrate as many Masses or we start closing down churches, but we open up a big one, so that a lot of people can be served.”
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