STEUBENVILLE — As he prepared to bless the new Center for Evangelism and Renewal at Franciscan University of Steubenville on Tuesday, the Reverend Dave Pivonka, TOR, president of the school, noted that the former office building would provide much-needed space for its evangelistic programs.
But he said it should do a lot more than if it were to help achieve the university’s goal of strengthening the faith of current church leaders and spreading the gospel message to those who don’t. are not part of the church.
“It’s not just a building for a building’s sake. It’s about something better. said Pivonka, who added, “Ultimately, it’s about building a community of God.”
He and other school officials noted that the building, located at 114 Brady Circle East, will serve as a base of operations for about 30 staff involved in hosting seminars and retreats aimed at strengthening spirituality. visiting church leaders.
The center will also house the university’s two-year Master of Arts program in Catechesis and Evangelism, an online program designed to prepare individuals for pastoral ministry.
Mark Joseph, the university’s vice president for outreach and evangelism, said supporting the efforts of local parishes is among the goals set out in the university’s ongoing capital improvement campaign.
He said that through the new center, the university will make its resources available to local church leaders.
Joseph acknowledged the many people involved in securing and renovating the building, which includes a conference room that can accommodate 50 people.
Among the many present to celebrate the occasion was Joseph McGurn, director of the university’s physical plant services, who noted that the opening of the center brings the university closer to the construction of its Christ the Teacher university building. .
He confirmed that the buildings occupied by evangelism staff are among several in the Assisi Heights area of campus to be demolished to accommodate the addition of the 110,000 square foot University Center and Lecture Hall.
McGurn said crews will work through the summer on roadwork and other ground preparations for the $48 million complex, with construction slated to begin in September and completion slated for summer 2023.
Designs by MCF Architecture of Pittsburgh call for the three-story structure to include classrooms and labs for the university’s nursing, engineering and business departments and a conference center that can accommodate up to 500 people which can also be reconfigured to serve smaller gatherings.