Two years after its groundbreaking, a brand new Catholic church in North Bossier Parish has opened and is just days away from its dedication.
The new church is just one example of growth in the area. A 2013 Sterling Properties study found that within the next four years, one of the primary areas of growth will happen in North Bossier.
Some of the construction is already happening, including the newly completed St. Jude Catholic Church. The church is the largest construction project in the history of the Shreveport Catholic Diocese.
"I never thought that at 71-years-old, I'd be opening a brand new church!" said Father Pike Thomas, who has spent eight years working to turn this church from an idea to reality.
They broke ground on the church on August 25, 2012.
"It's been very time consuming, but wonderfully rewarding," said Thomas.
The total cost of the church was $10 million, some of which the church didn't have to pay because a member of their congregation donated the 20 acres of land the church is built on.
Thomas explained the St. Jude church community is now the only Catholic presence in the area and he believes the church will make North Bossier a more attractive place for Catholics to move.
"While other areas are growing a little, this area is growing a lot," he said.
The church's sanctuary can fit up to 900 worshippers. The church also has a pre-K school and family life center.
The church will be dedicated at 10 a.m. April 26 at 4700 Palmetto Road in Benton. Church leaders are also inviting the community out to see the church at open houses from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17 and 24.