By Mark Ambrogi
St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church needed room to expand. Thus, the church’s pastor, Rev. Ted Rothrock, said The Family Room is a welcome addition.
The Carmel church, 10655 Haverstick Rd., will hold a parish expansion dedication and open house from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 18. The event will include a dedication by Bishop Timothy Doherty at 1:15 p.m., followed by the open house from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tours and refreshments will be available.
Rothrock said the parishioners’ generosity made the $5 million expansion possible.
“This has been a project that has been many years in the making, and (the) parish, as it continues to grow and serve people of St. Elizabeth as well as the local community, we are endeavoring to expand our facility,” Rothrock said.
Rothrock said the name The Family Room has more than one meaning.
“We’re making room for the family, and we look at our family as not just registered parishioners at St. Elizabeth, but we invite the wider community to participate in our mission to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone, not just our own people,” Rothrock said. “We like to serve the community in various ways. As our parish has grown, we grew out of our facilities.”
There are fish fry events that Knights of Columbus sponsors during Lent.
“We invite first responders like police and fire to attend and they receive free tickets,” Rothrock said.
Rothrock said an Al-Anon group and Boys Scout Troop 202 regularly have meetings at the church.
“We just didn’t have the facilities to accommodate all the requests and needs,” Rothrock said. “This will help us in the future accommodate outside groups with the larger social hall. Now we can open to other outside groups like Al-Anon as a service to the community.”
Rothrock said The Family Room can now accommodate 350 people with tables.
The Family Room project and the expansion of the ministry wing encloses the campus under one roof. Rothrock said people can get to all the facilities without going outside, which is especially important for visitors with special needs.
“We make it as accessible as possible,” Rothrock said. “We managed to stay current with architecture of the building, which is a post-modern medieval architecture.”
The church has 2,200 registered households in the parish.