GENEROUS donors and a bequest of $1.2 million will leave Surfers Paradise parish “completely debt free” when the new Stella Maris Church opens in February.
For four years, parish priest Fr Tim Harris has promised Broadbeach Catholics a new church to replace the one they had loved for 50 years.
Fr Harris said he was “humbled” that parishioners responded so generously to his invitation to donate towards a new church for Broadbeach Catholics.
“I am humbled firstly that they have risen to the occasion,” Fr Harris said.
“I don’t think anyone believed we’d have no debt.”
Since beginning a simple fundraising campaign in February last year, parishioners and supportive locals have donated a total $3.1 million, enough to pay for all development costs.
Deceased parishioner Joan Enright left the parish $1.2 million to put towards the Stella Maris constructions.
Fr Harris thanked the 800 parishioners who “invested” in the future Broadbeach church, which Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge will dedicate on February 27.
“The Catholic Church will remain visible in this part of the world,” he said.
Fr Harris also gave credit to God and Our Lady for their hand in the successful fundraiser.
“God’s hand has been guiding this since the very beginning,” Fr Harris said.
“This is the work of the Holy Spirit, but Our Lady must have had some hand in this too because the church is named after Our Lady of the Sea.
“Don’t underestimate the power of her prayers.”