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St. Marys church to break ground on new $30 million building on Sunday

The Society of St. Pius X in the Pottawatomie County town of St. Marys will break ground Sunday on its new $30 million Immaculata building, which will hold more than 1,500 people.
The Society of St. Pius X in the Pottawatomie County town of St. Marys will break ground Sunday on its new $30 million Immaculata building, which will hold more than 1,500 people.(WIBW)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 8:27 AM CDT
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A growing Catholic church community in the Pottawatomie County town of St. Marys will break ground this weekend on a new, $30 million building for worship that will hold more than 1,500 people and stand 12 stories tall.

The Society of St. Pius X, which is attracting adherents from across the United States to the town of St. Marys, will break ground on the new building, called the Immaculata, at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The new Immaculata building is to be constructed on top of a hill just north of the Society of St. Pius X campus, near a cemetery overlooking the town of St. Marys.

The Society of St. Pius X chapel in St. Marys doesn’t have enough room for the church's members in St. Marys.

Some 4,000 people attend Masses that are offered on weekends. Latin Masses also are celebrated each day of the week.

The Society of St. Pius X considers itself to be a "traditional" Catholic church and offers Massses in Latin.

In addition to offering daily Masses, the Society of St. Pius X has an academy for students in elementary school through high school. The academy has around 900 students in grades kindergarten through 12.

The Society of St. Pius X, with headquarters in Switzerland, was started in 1970 by Marcel Lefebvre, a traditionalist French archbishop who was excommunicated in 1988 by the Roman Catholic Church over his opposition to changes implemented by the Second Vatican Council.

The Society of St. Pius X, which maintains many of the traditions from before Vatican II, has locations in other areas of the United States and is active in more than 70 countries around the world.

It has been in St. Marys since 1978.

The new Immaculata in St. Marys will be the largest building of its kind in the Society of St. Pius X.

The building project comes at a time when the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations of sexual misconduct by members of Catholic clergy in the state.

KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood told 13 NEWS that the investigation includes allegations against clergy from all four Roman Catholic dioceses in Kansas and the Society of St. Pius X.

The four Roman Catholic dioceses in Kansas are based in Kansas City, Wichita, Salina and Dodge City. The Society of St. Pius X isn't a part of any of the four Kansas dioceses in the Roman Catholic Church.

There was no break-down in the number of cases per diocese or individual church.

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