For more than 23 years, St. Vincent de Paul’s gym has served as the only “large” group meeting space available on our campus. In the early years, St. Vincent de Paul’s gym served as a multi-purpose room. It also served as a gathering place for our parish family to worship. Weekly masses were held in the gym until our Church was dedicated in 1998.
Parish activities have grown to meet the needs of our 11,000 members and the gym is no longer sufficient in supporting all that our Parish desires to do to fulfill its mission. It is difficult to balance our growing youth sports programs and the scheduling of important parish activities such as sacramental retreats, Trivia Night to support Outreach, Scouts, Blue & Gold Banquets, concerts, funeral luncheons and so much more.
We often find that we are displacing one group for another or just turning away opportunities. “When approached by other Parishes or the Archdiocese, we have to turn away opportunities to host prominent Catholic speakers and other formation opportunities because we just don’t have the space,” according to Fr. Dan Kampschneider.
The demand for “gym” time is heaviest during the fall and winter months when more than 20 grade school volleyball and basketball teams need the gym for practice and games. Many of our teams have to either limit practice or are turned away to rent court time at facilities like Omaha Sports Academy. Dan Dineen, who oversees the scheduling for sports activities, says a Parish Center would free up about 15 percent more gym time to support our sports programs.