By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer
BUCKINGHAM – Nine years after its founding, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Buckingham, Bucks County, anticipates breaking ground on a church within two months.
On Wednesday, April 22, the parish received long-awaited approval from Buckingham Township’s board of supervisors to build the structure.
Parishioners who attended the early evening meeting broke into applause when the decision was announced.
Father Joseph J. Quindlen, the founding pastor, said his 6,000-plus parishioners are bursting with happiness about the upcoming groundbreaking.
“It was quite delightful,” he said.
The 1,200-seat church will be located on a 30-acre site at the intersection of Route 413 and Cold Spring Creamery Road. Weekend Masses are currently celebrated in the auditorium of Central Bucks East High School.
“I’ve had parishioners joke with me all along that they have shovels in the trunks of their cars and to please give them the word as soon as possible so they can provide us with a shovel,” he said.
At 30,800 square feet, the church is anticipated to cost approximately $10 million, according to the pastor. The parish has pledged $6.6 million toward a $7 million goal. To date, it has raised more than $5 million.
This was the third site proposed for the church in the parish’s nine-year history.
The first site, at Routes 202/263 and Quarry Road, was later deemed not suitable for building because of the prevalence of limestone on the property.
The second site, at the intersection of Mechanicsville and Ash Mill Roads, was deemed not suitable for institutional development.
“As it became increasingly clear that our new church wasn’t going to be built as soon as we had anticipated, older parishioners began to say to me on occasion, ‘Father, I hope I live to see the new church built,'” Father Quindlen recalled.
“And I got to the point where I began to respond, ‘I hope I live to see it built, too.’ Then we’d chuckle.”
The founding of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish “for all of us has been a noble task, a daunting challenge and an awesome responsibility,” the pastor added.
“I’m grateful to our parishioners and parish staff for their faith in God, love for Christ and His Church and loyalty to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish,” Father Quindlen said. “Their patience, perseverance and persistence are an inspiration to me.”
Throughout the process, the pastor has thanked God for the gift of “an adventuresome spirit,” he said.
“And I thank Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego for their intercession.”
For more information, contact the parish at (215) 794-2004.
CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at (215) 587-2468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.