CLINTON — Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Parish will celebrate a significant milestone in the construction of its new church Sunday. Parish members will break ground on their new church scheduled to open in the fall 2008.

The church, to be constructed north of 13th Avenue North, behind Fareway, will unite the parishioners of Clinton’s Catholic churches.

“The outpouring of support has been tremendous,” said the Rev. Anthony Herold, pastor of Prince of Peace. “And, I think, to see in that field a new church growing this year is a sign of hope for our community and it’s really an indication of strength for our future.”

The ceremony will begin after the 9 a.m. Mass. At about 10:15 a.m., parishioners will gather in the Fareway parking lot and have an inter-generational walking procession to the new site. The Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop, will officiate the “Rite of Beginning Work on the Building of the Church” at 10:45 a.m.

After Amos’s rite, several speakers will address parishioners, including: Lenny Weih, president of the Pastoral Council; Dick Roberts, Faith Facilities Task Force; Mayor LaMetta Wynn; and Herold.

Groundbreaking will be at 11:20 a.m., and parish families are invited to participate by bringing a shovel to the event. The groundbreaking will be followed by light refreshments and social time.

The event will bring the parish one step closer to opening the new church — a significant milestone in an ambitious project that began nearly two decades ago.

“This has been a long time coming,” Herold said. “We’ve been working as a parish since ... 1990 to come up with an adequate vision for our future.”

In 1990, Clinton’s five Catholic parishes merged into one. Parish leaders began to consider plans to allow all parish members to worship at one facility.

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