September 11, 2017 – The Church of the Nativity in Lutherville, Maryland celebrated the official opening of its new worship space with a mass of dedication on Friday, September 8th.
Celebrants for The Solemn Dedication of the Church and Altar included Archbishop William E. Lori, Bishops Denis J. Madden, Nativity Pastor Father Michael White, and Father Lawrence Kumanda Sakala. Largely conducted in darkness prior to the Eucharist, it was only after the altar and Church were anointed that the sanctuary was illuminated revealing the new worship space to the 1,000 parishioners in attendance. During the service Archbishop Lori placed relics of St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Katherine Drexel and St. John Paul II in the mensa of the altar. Following the anointing of the altar, Father White dressed the altar in a gift presented by builder and construction manager, Lewis Contractors: a Belgian fair linen whose underside hem bears an applique that reads “September 8, 2017”.
Completed as scheduled in the first week of September, without interruption to the busy Parish schedule, this $13M renovation/addition was made necessary by the growing Nativity congregation—masses draw up to 4,000 congregants each week. The new space includes a 40,000 SF two story Nave/Sanctuary/Narthex addition to the existing Church. The new sanctuary is approximately 30,000 SF with main and mezzanine levels with a maximum buildout occupancy of 1,450 people. The new narthex and café at the rear of the nave provide ample gathering space for the growing congregation. A pair of 16-foot by 9-foot state-of-the-art projection screens flank each side of the altar to ensure unobstructed viewing of the mass. Audio is piped into the new narthex, the Vision Café, Crying Loft, and restrooms.
The sanctuary’s main floor seats 1,000 in a tiered semicircle with room for additional 500 future seats and a Crying Loft at the balcony area. Two new link corridors were constructed at the front and rear of the existing building to seamlessly connect the new addition to the existing Parish facilities. Site work included modifications to the existing parking to accommodate new circulation patterns, 100 new parking spaces, storm water management, and enlarged access at Vista Lane. New site amenities include patios, walks, signage, lighting and more.
Before the final blessing, Stephanie Clancy, Chairwoman of the Parish Financial Council, informed Archbishop Lori that the project came in “ahead of schedule, within budget and with no long-term debt.” Lewis Contractors’ President Tyler Tate added that, “The success of the Church of the Nativity project was a product of a collaborative effort by the entire Project Team. It has been an honor to work with the Parish staff, the Building Committee, and the Design Team, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore on this transformation of the Church of the Nativity.”
SERVING MARYALAND FOR OVER 50 YEARS. Founded as general contractors in 1966 Lewis Contractors is celebrating its first 50 years of building Maryland. An award winning, family owned and operated construction management and general contracting firm, Lewis engages in all types of academic, institutional, restoration, industrial, and commercial projects, the Lewis Team delivers a tradition of excellence, innovative thinking, and attention to detail to their clients’ projects.