Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

November 1, 2013

Catholic church finds new home at Marti Elementary

First mass to be held Sunday

St. John Vianney Catholic Church has, since July 2012, held mass in the Victory Professional Building on Nolan River Road.

“We’ve been growing and reached the point where we’re packing that place out,” said Johnathan Duncan, lay administrator with the church. “It’s reached the point where we have people standing in the foyer and they can’t see the altar so we’re hoping to be able to get everyone under one roof.”

The church and its growing congregation officially moves to Marti Elementary School on Sunday. Mass will be held at 9 a.m. Sundays, with Sunday school at 10:15 a.m. Services will be held in the Marti cafeteria. Marti Elementary is at 2020 W. Kilpatrick St.

A recent change in policy by Cleburne ISD addressing use of school district properties by churches — the board voted to relax certain restrictions — made the move possible, Duncan said.

The plan now, Duncan said, is to save up to purchase land for a permanent home down the road.

St. John Vianney is part of a special jurisdiction, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, created by Pope Benedict XVI for Anglicans who wanted to come into the Catholic Church but at the same time retain some of their customs and cultures.

Clergy may marry, for example, and the mass contains classical Protestant hymns and an emphasis on Scripture study, Duncan said. 

The congregation, which totals about 70, includes a mix of traditional Catholics and former Protestants.

Duncan will soon be ordained as a Catholic priest. He previously served as an Episcopalian priest, including three years as director of Cleburne’s Holy Comforter Episcopal Church.

“We’re excited to be taking this next step forward in our life together as a congregation and we’re grateful to the administration at Marti for being so welcoming,” Duncan said. “We pray that it won’t be too long before we’re able to obtain a piece of property and announce the permanent home of St. John Vianney.”

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