New Catholic church opens its doors in Visalia

FRESNO, Calif.

Saint Charles Borromeo is now one of four churches located at the corner of Akers and Caldwell in Visalia.

Parishioners were greeted with open arms Sunday as they made their way into Visalia's newest Catholic Church.

"It's beautiful. I think it's great. More room. It's the first time here. It's really nice," Ed Martinez said. "And peace to his people on earth"

Hundreds of people filled the 17,000 square foot facility, which is the first of four buildings planned on the 20-acre property.

For now, services will be held in this building, which can hold 700 people. During phase two an actual church will be constructed and eventually a school.

"We've expanded so much that this facility was needed, you know ten years ago, but we just didn't have the opportunity to build it," Monsignor Ray Dreiling said.

Until now, Monsignor Ray Dreiling says the Catholic Church of Visalia currently serves about 8,000 families.

Saint Charles Borromeo is now the parish's fourth church in Visalia. Members funded the entire project themselves and donated everything from the organ to the hand-crafted alter.

"Oh, it's wonderful. Everything in there was donated. The paintings, the statues, the crosses, the alter is gorgeous," Mary Ontiveros said.

"Oh, it's exciting. It's exciting. Everybody is so happy to be here, to have a facility like this over here," Rick Miller said.

Officials here aren't sure when the actual church will be built. They still need $5 million in donations to break ground.

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