The Archdiocese of Galveston Houston dedicated St. Benedict the Abbot’s new worship facility on March 9. The new chapel, designed by Houston architectural firm Studio RED, was a much awaited blessing by the congregation. Since its creation 40 years ago, St. Benedict’s congregation has been worshiping in a temporary space. As the congregation grew in number and diversity, a need for a permanent space became apparent.
The new building’s design was the result of much thought and collaboration with parish members. While the design was created to meet the practical needs of the parish (with 10,000 square feet it will accommodate seating for 500 people) it also spoke to the congregation’s faith and diversity with a unique shape. “The plan of the building has the form of a dove which represents peace and the Holy Spirit,” said Studio RED designer Pete Ed Garrett. “An underlying theme for the project was to unite the different groups within the parish under one roof for worship. Although the symbolism is quite beautiful, the form of the building also creates wonderful opportunities for light and views which fill the church with [a] life and energy which is unique among other parishes in Houston.”
Studio RED reviewed a few of their previous church facility designs. When considering the character and liturgical requirements of the design, they also reviewed recent designs for other Catholic parishes around Houston. The planning paid off and the congregation is thriving in their new worship space. The church building was dedicated on March 9 by Archbishop Fiorenza, who was one of the original parish priests.