Corpus Christi Catholic Church (Celebration, Florida)
Corpus Christi Catholic Church of Celebration Florida
Christmas is the reason for Living
The Corpus Christi Catholic Church is located at Celebration, Florida, a master-planned community in Osceola County, Florida, United States, near Walt Disney World Resort. The Church is part of the Orlando Diocese of Florida, as created by the Vatican. The parish population was made up of around 100 families at the start of the community in 2005, but as of 2017 is estimated to be more than 1,000 families.
Church services in the area were first held at the Celebration K8 School and then later at Celebration High School cafeteria, but construction of the new church was completed on December 24, 2009. The new church was dedicated on Saturday, January 16, 2010 with Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Orlando Diocese presiding.
The new church construction follows a stunning, classical-style building inside and out that not only fits well with the architectural pattern established by The Celebration Company, but also becomes an attractive, prominent landmark of the community of Celebration Florida. The church was designed by Cooper Johnson Smith Architects & Town Planners.
Groundbreaking for the church was held in November 2008, though construction did not begin in earnest until the following January. Brasfield & Gorrie, the general contractor for the project and a Fortune 500 company, kept up a steady pace, especially in the last three weeks when the seating, altar art, and stained glass windows were installed.
As a consequence, pastor Father Gregory Parkes, was able to celebrate the first Mass in the new building on December 24 morning to a nearly full house of excited parishioners from not only Celebration, but also Orlando, Kissimmee, and the entire Four Corners area. In a ceremony beforehand outside the front doors, Tim Dwyer of Brasfield & Gorrie handed the keys over to Building Committee Chairman Jack Blitch, who in turn presented them to Father Gregory. After humbly thanking the Committee, Father Gregory acknowledged the hard work and support of the trades people, the Parish, and the Town.
Fortunately, everything worked relatively smoothly at that first mass. Seven hours later, the Church hosted an overflow crowd for its 5 pm Christmas Eve Mass that featured the Children's Choir. Father Gregory opened the liturgy with a greeting and then the rhetorical exclamation, “Can we give glory and praise to God for this beautiful church?”
Even without any advertising or notices in the neighboring hotels, the turnout for the four Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses was remarkable.
Today the church is led by Fr. Richard W. Trout, Jr., Pastor. Corpus Christi continues to make every attempt to live up to its mission statement: As a welcoming faith community, centered in the Eucharist and guided by the Holy Spirit to do God's will, we seek to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ by being good stewards of God's gifts and blessings, thus giving glory and praise to Him.