Aurora, CO April 19, 2018 - parishioners and also the ar of Queen of tranquility parish (photos by Andrew Wright)

Queen of tranquility Parish in Aurora, when predominately center to lower income, is the most varied in the archdiocese and among the busiest.

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It is a beacon the hope for immigrants, refugees, the poor, and for the typical Catholic seek the sacraments and/or deeper belief formation. This year the parish transforms 50, yet to continue its organization to the congregation and also to the broader Catholic and also Aurora communities, the church requirements to construct a brand-new $12.5 million parish facility to change its present outdated and unsafe facility. With $4.6 million pledged since November, a dramatic success provided the parishioners earnings levels, they have nearly reached their $5 million capital campaign goal.

“This is a an excellent accomplishment because that this community, which is more than 50 percent immigrant,” stated Father Felix Medina, pastor because 2013. “From the moment I arrived, I have been conscious of the urgent require to address the difficulty of our great growth in parishioners and our absence of functional facilities to accommodate our numerous services and also groups.”

More than 12,000 civilization walk v the parish’s doors every week and are offered by part 100 various ministries and also activities, ranging native Mass (6,000 human being attend weekly) and religious education (1,200 students space in religious education); to society ministry, consisting of Aurora’s only soup kitchen, and a St. Vincent de Paul Society, come pro-life apostolates that market material and also spiritual assist to needy mothers, come faith-building charisms and also community-building social groups.

“The motto for our campaign, Building Christ’s neighborhood together, summarizes what ours parish has actually done for thousands of human being during these last 5 decades,” father Medina said. “The beauty beauty of the Catholic Church, i m sorry is for human being of every language and color, is manifested below at Queen of Peace.”

In a letter of assistance for the parish’s building plans, auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez, concurred.

“Queen of tranquility is the parish through the most diversity the nations and also people in the archdiocese,” Bishop Rodriguez said. “God has given to friend the responsibility and blessing the welcoming and also serving immigrant from almost everywhere the human being … who space seeking the lull of God in a brand-new and unknown place.”

“This parish has always welcomed world from outside,” dad Medina explained, note that initially Queen of tranquility served human being from throughout the united States situated at three army facilities active in Aurora, simply one of which remains.

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Aurora, CO – pastor Father Felix Medina seeks to develop a brand-new parish facility to lug Denver’s most diverse Catholic church together. (photo by Andrew Wright)

In current decades, ethnic diversity in the city has actually swelled, do Aurora a “minority-majority city,” an interpretation the total populace of minority groups is larger than the white, non-Hispanic or Latino groups, follow to the city’s 2016 demographic report. In Aurora publicly Schools, 130 countries and 166 languages space represented among the student population.

“The new parish center will carry together human being from an ext than 100 nations,” dad Medina said, introduce to his congregation’s diversity.

Established on June 12,1968 by Archbishop James Casey, ~ above Sept. 4 that year, dad Frank McCullough, OMI, managed a groundbreaking because that the first parish structure, which contained a 40-seat chapel, rectory and offices. In 1970, a 2nd facility was built, which had a chapel, a gym, meeting rooms and also a kitchen. 5 years later, as the parish expanded, a 1,200-seat church was built.

In 1987, the Oblates of mar left and the Denver Archdiocese appointed the very first diocesan minister of the parish, Father bill Breslin. That exact same year, Queen that Peace opened up a job hospitality facility for the homeless at a nearby location. In 1999, Archbishop Charles Chaput committed a brand-new church building.

Vince and Dini Zagarella have actually worshiped in ~ Queen of Peace because 1969, as soon as the parish, consist of of a grasp of families, hosted Mass in ~ the neighborhood Seventh job Adventist Church.

“Their solutions were on Saturday and ours to be on Sunday,” Vince Zagarella recalled through a chuckle.

“We’ve grown from an intimate, reasonably affluent parish to a parish the many, countless nationalities the is no much longer affluent,” included Dini Zagarella.

Transplants from new York, the Zagarellas relish your parish’s diversity. Their three children, that are currently grown with families of their own, made your sacraments at Queen of Peace.

“It’s our home,” Dini Zagarella said.

The pair has held various management positions in the parish and currently serve as honorary chairs that the capital campaign

“It’s an excellent that we’ve reached almost $5 million, yet we require a lot an ext than that,” Dini Zagarella said. “We simply keep praying God will help us.”

The parish determined its center was no much longer adequate back in 2005, but an economic downturn and also other setbacks compelled the congregation to put their hopes for a new parish center on hold. Offered the deplorable condition of the present parish center, waiting is no longer an option.

“It is falling apart,” father Medina said. “There room leaks in the rooms, leaks in the foundation, mold, asbestos, out of code wood floors. The shingles room falling apart. The old building needs come be torn down and a new one built over it.”

“Eventually, ours parish facility will it is in condemned,” Vince Zagarella said. “It’s past repair and embarrassing. We had actually to put great money right into stopping the leaks prior to we also started the resources campaign.”

To sheathe the total building project cost, the parish plans come augment capital campaign proceeds with savings and building money monies, a grant, a loan, the feasible sale of a property,

and through fundraising among outside sources, together as former parishioners.

“We need external funds,” Vince Zagarella said.

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Aurora, CO – parishioners and the neighborhood of Queen of peace parish (photo by Andrew Wright)

The parish really hopes that the end of gratitude for its generous company to former parishioners and also to the more comprehensive community, human being may be willing to assist the congregation reach your goal as they approach their 50th anniversary. A brand-new parish center is necessary to proceed the brand-new evangelization in ~ Queen that Peace, the minister said.

“It will certainly make possible the continued teaching and integrating of so countless into our culture and right into the Church,” father Medina said, “helping them to be an excellent Catholic citizen of our society—responsible and also equipped for the challenges of living their faith in the civilization today.”

Father Medina, a native Spaniard who got his speak to to the priesthood with the native of St. John Paul II when attending Denver’s 1993 world Youth Day and providentially was sent to serve here, likened the to adjust of his parish come a “new Pentecost.”

“There is one heart , the divine Spirit—the spirit of Christ,” the said. “It is the only Spirit that have the right to unify united state in a new Pentecost. People were from every country at Pentecost and yet they heard the apostles speak to them in their own language. Us make that existing again right here on a everyday basis. Each of us is indigenous a different corner of the world, however we belong to the same Body the Christ.”

The parish’s anniversary occasions will highlight the plenty of cultures represented among the congregation by special their various foods and music. A Marian pilgrimage in November will certainly honor the parish’s patroness.

“We will have actually concerts and activities throughout the year,” father Medina said.

Bishop Rodriguez will celebrate a bilingual massive with previous parishioners who are now priests on June 2 come kick off the anniversary. Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila will certainly celebrate the anniversary mass on Aug. 12. Founding parishioners are specifically invited to sign up with the existing members at the anniversary events and also liturgies.

“I … congratulate girlfriend on the Christian job-related of integration, hospitality and evangelization that you carry out for brothers and also sisters native so countless different countries, with various languages and also cultures,” Archbishop Aquila stated in a letter come the parish. “What girlfriend are about to stay is the an outcome of vision, an excellent planning and also courage. Her parish is a great witness to the people of Aurora, and thanks to your structure efforts, it will certainly serve many more people in the years to come.

“My prayers space with you together you start this great journey the faith.”

QUEEN that PEACE rapid FACTS

— Sacraments: 6,000 human being attend fixed every weekend; 2,000 adults attend faith formation annually; 600 baptisms, 400 first Communions and also 350-plus confirmations room conferred annually; 1,200 students attend religious Education and more than 100 teens participate in youth teams annually; 80 couples a year are all set for marriage.

— Social Ministry: the soup kitchen, the just one in Aurora, offer 30,000 human being a year; Annually, 1,200 mothers and fathers attend parenting classes and 250 world attend English as a 2nd Language classes; the St. Vincent de Paul culture serves 50 needy households weekly.

— Pro-life: Gabriel residence serves more than 300 people and distributes much more than 7,000 diapers a month.

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— Charisms and social Groups: the parish provides Focolare and also the Neocatechumenal Way, violin and matachines classes, an afri Catholic society, a Filipino society, and more.