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Last week, St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Garden City unveiled their recent renovations with a dedication ceremony with 150 attendees. Those in attendance included 27 priests from within the diocese and outside the diocese as well as 3 former St. Lawrence pastors and 4 seminarians studying for the priesthood. Most Reverend Michael J. Sis, Bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo was the main celebrant for the Mass, concelebrating with  St. Lawrence Church, Pastor, Rev. Chinna Pagidela, Vicar General Rev. Santiago Udayar, and Rev. Bhaskar Morugudi. The parish Deacons serving the Mass were Floyd Schwartz and Joel Gutierrez. 


According to Chasity Oakes, Project Manager and VP of JLL in Dallas, the project has been in the works for several years. Although she’s been on the project for just a couple of years, Oakes actually grew up in the St. Lawrence Catholic Church. She had moved away, now lives in Dallas, and was invited to be involved with the project. 


Oakes told KBest News that the renovations began with the restrooms. 


"The need for two new restrooms caused a series of additional code compliance requirements, that then begged the question 'Why don't we just build a new church if we need all of these additional requirements?'"


The church explored building a renewed church and expansion and remodel of the existing church. In the end, Oakes said the church decided to expand and remodel the existing church to honor the previous generation who had established the church community as well as reduce the overall cost. 


After several rounds regarding design and budget, it was presented and proposed for approval by the Diocese of San Angelo. In the end, the renovations included new restrooms, a parlor, some overflow seating areas, a working sacracy in addition to their main sacracy, and indoor gathering areas. In addition to these main needs, it also allowed an upgrade to the HV/AC system, audio system, and really created a more spiritual and intimate environment to have mass. 


The cost of the completed project is still yet to be determined because there are still a few items that need to be completed, such as the paving of the parking lot. Funding for the church renovations was obtained from parish donations and with funds raised by their annual St. Lawrence Fall Festival. 


The renovations were completed with the help of the following businesses: 


  • Design-Build approach with MBA Construction and Egnyte Architecture out of Houston
  • Design input from Benson Hlavaty Architects in Dallas
  • Bethany Group (design and fabrication of the pews and altar furniture)
  • Texas Stone Quarry (design and fabrication of altar furniture and baptismal font)
  • Cavallini's Stained Glass Windows (restored all the existing Stained-glass windows and created a new design in one of the windows that was previously left undersigned)
  • Lubbock Audio Visual Design Professional (design and install of the new audio system)?


When asked what the feedback has been received from the parishioners, Oakes advised that they had gotten a lot of great feedback. 


"The biggest compliment that speaks for the community comes from a parishioner who served on our previous building committee back in 1969 and 1970," said Oakes. "He told me that he had his hesitations about how we would bring the old church and the new church together but he was in awe of how beautiful it came together, and even commended us on the blending of the old and new to make the space even more spiritual."


The first dedication ceremony was conducted on Monday, August 10th. The next one, which will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020, at 6 PM at the St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Garden City, TX. 


St. Lawrence Catholic Church before renovations, June 2019


Outside of church after steeple is placed on the building, April 2020.


Before, June 2019


After, August 2020


Before, June 2019


After, August 2020


After, August 2020


Before, June 2019


After, August 2020




To view more before and after photos, and photos from the renovations, visit:

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