Catholic Sentinel photo by Clarice Keating
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Kenneth Steiner sprinkles holy water on the crowd.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Clarice Keating
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Kenneth Steiner sprinkles holy water on the crowd.
TIGARD — St. Anthony Parish here dedicated a new 17,000-square-foot, $5.5 million parish center tonight. Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Kenneth Steiner concelebrated the dedication with the parish’s outgoing pastor, Father Leslie Sieg, and newly assigned pastor, Father John Henderson.

“Many thanks to those of you who made this possible,” Father Sieg said in the sanctuary before the crowd processed over to get a glimpse of the new parish center. “We dedicate these efforts to our God. This is not for us, but for the kingdom of God and our service to the kingdom.”

Among those in attendance were parishioners, past and present, and city of Tigard Mayor John Cook, who has been actively involved at St. Anthony Church and Valley Catholic School in Beaverton.

The new parish hall is the second of a three-phase expansion of the current St. Anthony campus, which provides new and upgraded facilities for education, gathering and worship.

Campaign coordinator Anne Robinson said the project wouldn’t have been possible without support from parishioners and families from the school families.

“It was so amazing to finally open the doors and show it off to the community,” Robinson said. “They have been so patient.”

Everyone has helped in his or her own way, she said. Parishioners have attended fundraising spaghetti dinners. Students at the school raised funds with “Free Dress Fridays,” when students donated $1 for permission to wear an outfit other than their school uniform. The students raised more than $1,500.

A local Boy Scout troop helped with landscaping and local businesses offered in-kind donations.

Jesuit Father Jack Murphy, who is in his 90s, wrote the campaign prayer that parishioners have been saying for the past four years. He was in attendance tonight, visiting from his home at the nearby St. Anthony Village.

The children from St. Anthony School, which includes students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, ate lunch for the first time in the expansive “Francis Hall” on June 12. Principal Karen Bollinger said the students were in awe, and dined in a more mannerly and reverent way than usual.

The hall has a stage, which will be used for school assemblies and theater productions.

“The school is a ministry of the parish, so it’s important to involve the parish community in school activities,” Bollinger said.