A few years ago, Saint Mary (Gilroy) pastor, Father Robert Brocato, started a listening campaign for the parish to hear the wishes and needs of the community. One of the biggest requests was to have a vibrant youth ministry program. This led to the hiring of their current youth minister, Carlos Barba. In August of 2017, Father Robert came up with the idea to donate the priests’ garage for the building of a youth center, since the youth program had already outgrown a space shared with other ministries.
The challenge? To raise $60,000 to begin construction.
The parish community stepped up to the challenge and in less than two months, successfully beat this fundraising goal. Construction began in February. On May 20, Saint Mary Parish celebrated the grand opening of its new Youth Center. It was a wonderful celebration of a dream made reality. Parishioners joined in a special blessing of the Youth Center and witnessed Saint Mary’s own youth ministry teens cut the ceremonial ribbon. After the blessing, all were invited to take a tour of the new Youth Center, while the children enjoyed arts and crafts and face painting.
The Saint Mary Youth Center will be a meeting space for youth nights, Bible study, worship nights, youth leader planning meetings, and a place for teens to unwind after school. After school, the Youth Center will offer a safe place for teens to build community and will include laptops, Wi-Fi, snacks, and more to assist them in getting their homework done. Saint Mary believes that teens are the present and future of our Church. May the Saint Mary Youth Center be for all a place of learning, community, healing, and growth. And may it be a home away from home for all who enter it.
To learn more about the Saint Mary Youth Center, or to donate furniture, audio equipment, or other needs, visit www.smpgilroy.org/youthcenter.