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Monday, March 18,2013

Holy Cross comes back to life

The St. Andrew Dung-Lac Parish moves into the former Holy Cross Catholic Church

by Alyssa Gienapp

Tuesday, April 5 — The former Holy Cross Catholic Church in Lansing will have new tenants soon: the St. Andrew Dung-Lac Parish, a Vietnamese Catholic congregation.


The church, at 1611 W. Oakland Ave., sat vacant for about two years. The parish is in the process of refurbishing the building in hopes of starting masses around Easter, said Michael Diebold, spokesman for the Diocese of Lansing.


St. Andrew Dung-Lac is moving from 5430 S. Washington Ave. on Lansing’s south side between Jolly Road and Northrup Street. A St. Andrew spokesperson could not be reached for comment.


Holy Cross officially closed in June 2009 and merged with St. Mary Cathedral Parish downtown. In 2007, the school portion closed and then two years later — when Franciscans were no longer able to staff the parish — the church closed, according to the Catholic Diocese of Lansing’s website.


Diebold said the Holy Cross location offers the Dung-Lac Parish more space than its present location.


“[Holy Cross is] a better location and it has more worship space,” Diebold said. “We hope their community will continue to grow and flourish in this new space.”


The Holy Cross campus is situated on 4.7 acres and features three buildings, including the church, a gym and a school. The building is nearly 57,000 square feet.


The church features a roughly 500-seat sanctuary. The three floors include offices, storage, living rooms, a library, kitchens and a rectory. The school contains 10 classrooms and the gym is equipped for sporting events.


So far, the St. Andrew Dung-Lac Parish has been busy.


“They do have a dedicated group of volunteers,” Diebold said. “They are already moving.”


One of the reasons Holy Cross closed was to avoid the increasing expenses associated with necessary repairs and maintenance to aging structures, said the Most Rev. Earl Boyea (bishop of the Diocese of Lansing) in a decree.

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