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Parish News

St. Maurice Church relocating to old Resurrection Parish site

'Church in the stable' in need of extensive, expensive repairs that parish cannot afford

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Ana Rodriguez-Soto - Florida Catholic

Father Roger Holoubek, pastor, poses in front of the entrance to St. Maurice Church, which is closed off because the awning is sagging.

The front entrance to St. Maurice Church is closed off because the awning outside is sagging.
DANIA BEACH | After 44 years of wear and tear, “the church in the stable” is sagging and in need of repairs — repairs that will cost much more than the parish can afford.

Fortunately for the people of St. Maurice, a “beautiful church” sits mostly idle less than four miles away — the church of what used to be Resurrection Parish.

Four years ago, Resurrection was closed and merged into St. Maurice. After Easter of this year, St. Maurice’s parishioners will be celebrating Masses at Resurrection’s church. In fact, the whole parish is relocating to the old Resurrection site.

As Father Roger Holoubek, pastor of St. Maurice, put it: “Life is full of surprises.”

Rotted wood columns hold up the awning above the entrance to St. Maurice Church. The parish cannot afford to make the extensive repairs that would make the building safe once more.
He announced the move to parish and finance council members last week, and to the rest of his parishioners at all the weekend Masses Jan. 18-19.

“We were never going to be able to save up the money to build a new church here. Never,” said Father Holoubek, who has been St. Maurice’s pastor since January 2000.

The parish was founded in June 1970 on a roughly six-acre site then known as Smith’s Stables. Its church was, in fact, a converted stable. The rectory was Smith’s family home and the chapel his old machine shop.

“Stables don’t last forever,” said Father Holoubek. “They were built to be stables, to be barns, made out of wood, and over the course of the years they begin to deteriorate. We’re just fortunate that we can relocate to Resurrection church, which is just a beautiful church.”

Rotted wood columns hold up the awning above the entrance to St. Maurice Church. The parish cannot afford to make the extensive repairs that would make the building safe once more.
The cost of repairing not just the church building, but all the other structures at St. Maurice, was deemed too great by archdiocesan officials and experts in the building department. Extensive studies found it would cost upwards of $800,000 to bring the church alone up to code: its sagging awnings had forced the closing of the front entrance, and its support beams are disintegrating.

St. Maurice has a large debt and minimal savings.

At the same time, the Archdiocese of Miami has been unable to sell the 10-acre site that had been the seat of Resurrection Parish. The site includes the church, a social hall and the friary, or living quarters for the Augustinian priests who staffed the parish since 1961.

Father Roger Holoubek stands outside the St. Maurice Church complex, formerly Smith's Stables when the parish was founded in 1970.
“I was disappointed again and again when that property didn’t sell. But God answers our prayers in many different ways — not always the way we expect,” Father Holoubek said.

He stressed that St. Maurice is “not merging with Resurrection. We are re-locating to the church and the property of Resurrection.”

Parish council members will be meeting this week to decide whether to change the parish name to incorporate a reference to Resurrection.

About 40 Resurrection parishioners joined St. Maurice when the parishes merged in October 2009. The merger was part of a larger archdiocesan restructuring that year prompted by the financial crisis.

“My hope is that those people that used to be members (at Resurrection) will come back because they’re the ones that built that church,” Father Holoubek said.

St. Maurice has about 750 registered families and sits off Stirling Road just west of I-95. Resurrection, founded in February 1958, is less than 4 miles away, just east of Federal Highway on N.E. Second Street. Both are within the city limits of Dania Beach.

St. Maurice parishioners will be moving to the Resurrection church site after Easter. They will celebrate their first Mass in their new home the weekend of April 26-27. That will allow them to celebrate Holy Week and Easter in the stable one last time, “and then we make our new beginning, come to a new life at Resurrection church,” Father Holoubek said.

St. Maurice also runs a pre-school and child care center that will remain open through the end of the school year. A decision will have to be made after that on whether it can be relocated to the Resurrection site, since the St. Maurice site ultimately will be put up for sale.

Father Holoubek said his parishioners reacted to the news with sadness but also acceptance: “Ok, this is what we’re gonna do.”

In fact, one of his parishioners came up to him after one of the Sunday Masses and quoted St. Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

“And I feel that that’s the truth,” Father Holoubek said.

View of the interior of St. Maurice Church, a worship space that was converted from a stable.

Comments from readers

JOHN - 4/25/2014 10:27 AM
Thanks be to God that Resurrection is being resurrected! Paul the Apostle said without the Resurrection, our faith is in vain. The Resurrection is THE most important facet of the Faith. Jesus is Risen!
I think St Maurice would understand if the church retains the name of the core of our Faith: Resurrection.
AARON RONNAN - 1/28/2014 10:16 AM
We are a strong family based on our faith in the Lord. Though we may be taken out of our comfort zone, we in time can achieve the same comfort. We may never have as beautiful grounds as at St. Maurice's current location, but it gives us something to strive for. The newer buildings will reduce our cost of maintenance, allowing us to concentrate on our community needs, hunger program, and many other missions that we help support.
God Bless all
Aaron Ronnan

MICHAEL AGIUS - 1/27/2014 10:59 AM
As good Catholics we shall follow the will of the Lord. I am relatively a new member at St. Maurice, however during the past 7 years I have acquired a lot of knoweledge and made many friends. I will not change this congregation to non other. I will move along with the Family of the Stable no matter where. We can pray at our new home just as well as the old home. We shall stay together and look forward to the future. St. Maurice on Stirling Road is on a 6 acre site and our new home Ressurection is built on a 10 acre site. Lots of room for improvements. Lets be positive and help with all our future plans. God Bless you all.
Chef Michael.
FRANK P SIMONETTI - 1/26/2014 2:39 PM
I believe it is a time of new beginning for the family of the stable. We can maintain our spirit wherever we are located. But I sincerely think the name should remain ST. Maurice parish. I believe the parish hall can be named Resurrection Hall, in honor of the closed resurrection parish. I have been a St. Maurice member for the past twenty years.
JONI TADDEO - 1/26/2014 1:50 PM
Wonderful.. Am so thrilled! Praise God!
STEPHEN CANTIN - 1/24/2014 7:09 PM
I think it's great news that Resurrection Church will be re-opening soon. It was so sad when they closed it. The fact that the property was never sold after 4 and a half years is obviously a sign from God that HE did not want HIS beautiful house used in a secular manner. I know it's St Maurice parish moving there, but i really hope they keep the name Resurrection Catholic Church. After all, Resurrection Church is a Mother Church to that area as it was founded in 1958 (i believe it pre-dates the Archdiocese of Miami as we know it today). Maybe they can name the social hall in the back "the St Maurice Parish Hall". but the church building itself should still be named Resurrection Catholic Church, in my opinion. especially if they want Resurrection's old parishioners to come back once it re-opens.
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