Holy Family Breaks Ground
Next phase of Rockford parish’s improvements to focus on church building.
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 17, 2019
ROCKFORD—The groundbreaking outside Holy Family Church the morning of Oct. 11 will soon lead to site work to expand the parking lot and foundation work for new construction of a fellowship hall and multi-purpose room attached to the Rockford church, not to mention first floor bathrooms.
It was, Father Phillip Kaim said, “a big day.”
He explains that, “depending on the bid packages that come in,” the sacristy and multi-purpose rooms are likely to be unfinished shells at first. “I’m hopeful that once we build what we can pay for, we can say ‘These are the two or three things we have left,’ ” and hopefully money will come for those, he says. 
Some of the work of the parish’s $8 million capital campaign has already been completed, including a new roof for the adjacent school gymnasium (which had been leaking) and new bathrooms in the school. 
A new boiler to replace the original 1962 school boiler is in place and awaiting some construction work on the chimney.
The rainy day cleared up for the groundbreaking, a fact that Father Kaim noted, thanking God for that and Bishop David Malloy and the Rockford Diocese for their support. 
“There may be a bureaucracy, maybe in the Vatican, but I don’t think in the Rockford Diocese,” he said. “They’ve done everything they can to make this day happen.”
Bishop Malloy followed that praise with a quip that got everyone laughing, saying, “Well, I did tell Father Kaim when the shovels go in, if we do hit any oil, it belongs to the diocese!”
On a more serious note, the bishop reflected that “the work we are beginning today should enliven our faith and make us grateful ... Let us pray for (God’s) help ... that God will bring this construction to successful completion and that His protection will keep those who work on it safe from injury.”
The brief blessing ceremony included readings and responses from the group gathered that included parishioners, past parochial vicar Father Charles Fitzpatrick, Deacon Frank Zammuto, and well-wishers from neighboring parishes.
“Even something as physical as construction becomes an act of faith,” Bishop Malloy said. “We’ve inherited here a whole campus that has been done by others, and in each generation we work to keep it up, to keep it clean, to keep it ready, to keep it beautiful because it is for God and for faith ... .
“This is an act of our religion that we should undertake such a project. We pray that our generosity is given before God, for the motives that are right and proper here. We pray for all the discussions ... (that they) will go on with that sense of decorum, of being pleasing to God, of being willing to work with others as we seek to find God’s will and solutions.
“None of these things are easy, but all of them can be accomplished (and will) help to demonstrate to ourselves, to this parish community, to the city, to everyone that would look upon us that we are a community of faith following Jesus Christ, and what we do here is simply an extension of our greatest call to be with him now and forever.”
The blessing was followed by what Father Kaim called “the ceremonial photo op,” and refreshments in the church narthex.