My Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ, We say ‘Welcome!’ to the more than 300 new families who have joined us in the last several months, as both our Lake Nona area and Faith Community continue to grow. To provide them, and all of us, a brief history and summary of our faith journey, the below information should help in understanding our roots and our future – as we continue moving forward in building up the Body of Christ.
Peace, Prayers, & All Good Things,
The new Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church was established by the Diocese of Orlando in August, 2019 and we were blest to find and call, as our first spiritual home, the Cafetorium at Narcoossee Middle School. After a short period of surfacing volunteer leadership and spreading the word of the new, local Church (Ministering to Lake Nona and the Surrounding Area), Masses began in November of that year. It is understood that there is no set timeline in forming a Faith Community from the ground – up. The foundation are the people, and this journey takes several years. We have just completed our 3rd year anniversary.
For those who may not know (or noticed the sign), the Diocese has property at the corner of Narcoossee and Boggy Creek Roads, across from Wawa. This property was purchased over 33 years ago and has been in its natural state all this time. The West end cap of the property is at the intersection traffic light on Narcoossee Road – and follows the wooded area by the pedestrian walkway guardrail to the North (to the mowed field) and to the South (where you see a street parcel by another owner). The property widens as it goes East.
Preliminary discussions began towards the end of 2020 between Orange/Osceola Counties, the State of Florida, and the Diocese about the planned expansions of both Narcoossee and Boggy Creek roads, and the new Eastern leg of the Osceola Parkway which will come through (very close to that area), but COVID and other road projects have put a damper on everything. All three of these projects need retention – and some of the Diocesan property close to Narcoossee Road was being looked at by transportation officials for that purpose – since the land was still untouched and it was believed that a Catholic Church was not established, yet, in Lake Nona. These preliminary discussions led government officials to discover that a Catholic Church had already been established in Lake Nona – and that we were meeting at a local school for Mass. This information began lengthy discussions as to what might be needed for these future road expansion projects, and how it could affect Diocesan property along Narcoossee Road. These discussions have been quite involved, and decisions are still forthcoming.
The first building to be built will be ‘Multi-Purpose’, to meet our immediate needs of an office; rooms for groups, ministries, and faith formation; and a hall for Masses and gatherings. Although we have been managing in our current location, there are many faith-based events that have not been possible, at this point. The future holds blessings as we patiently move forward. Our Building Committee has been on hiatus, and we wait for the day to pick up and continue to explore the design of our first building, which may become a reality in the next couple of years.
After our ‘Multi-Purpose’ building has been built and paid off, our next project will be a Church building. Church buildings are consecrated and considered ‘sacred space,’ so we will not have the flexibility for using this for anything other than a Church. Then, after the Church Building is paid off, we will be looking at the possibility of building a primary/middle school way down the road.