A third eclipse shot from Papillion

St. Columbkille Catholic Church on the night of a lunar eclipse in January.

George Lucas, the archbishop of Omaha, didn’t think it was a bad thing that rain pushed the groundbreaking ceremony for St. Columbkille Catholic Church’s new parish center into the school’s gym.

You need water to grow, after all.

St. Columbkille is a rapidly growing parish, and the Aug. 12 ceremony celebrated the beginning of work on the new center, which will cost $8.2 million and will include a multipurpose gym, meeting rooms, a preschool and a day care. The church has pledges for $6.1 million and is also spending about $1 million on renovations to the parish social hall.

Papillion Mayor David Black pointed to similarities between the city and the church — both are growing and both are building community centers. Both want to retain the values that make them appealing communities.

“If we can think consciously about those things and what makes us a community, we can keep those values even as we grow,” he said.

Both Papillion’s and the parish’s centers will be places for the community to come together, Black said, and the new parish center will be a welcome addition to the city’s 150th celebration next fall when it opens.

The Rev. Dave Reeson, pastor of St. Columbkille, thanked parishioners and church leaders.

“The church is not really a building, it’s people, and we certainly have a great number of gifted and generous people,” he said.

St. Columbkille, the fourth-largest church in the Omaha Archdiocese, has about 10,000 parishioners.

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