The New Vision

Pastoral Center offices moving, Cathedral Square moving along too

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Photo by Jessica Caraballo — Exterior asbestos was removed from the Cathedral Hall’s exterior walls preceding the hall’s demolition later in 2016.

Photo by Jessica Caraballo — Exterior asbestos was removed from the Cathedral Hall’s exterior walls preceding the hall’s demolition later in 2016.

Just a few days after this newspaper arrives at parishes in the Diocese of Tucson, the offices of the Pastoral Center will be operating in a new location.
Effective 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the former offices at 111 S. Church Ave. will be permanently closed as the Pastoral Center moves to an interim location at 64 E. Broadway Blvd., on the southwestern corner of South Scott Avenue and East Broadway Boulevard, directly west of the UniSource Energy Services Building.
The offices will reopen for business in the new location on Tuesday, Oct. 18. All office telephone and fax numbers will remain the same as before the move.
The Diocese operated out of the old location for 15 years after leaving the Marist College Building. It was about three years after the offices were moved that the corner of Marist College was damaged during a storm, beginning a worrisome path for the future of that building.
For years, a support group interested in saving the historic structure struggled to raise funds. Then, the Diocese also tried for several years to find a solution, including working to renovate the structure.
Just when it seemed that there was no saving Marist College, the Foundation for Senior Living, FSL, agreed to restore the dilapidated building and convert it into eight apartments and a recreation center for low-income senior citizens. The Foundation also wanted to build a much larger apartment building nearby, but with the rapid increase in business ventures in downtown Tucson, it had been unable to find the needed land.
To prevent loss of the restoration of Marist College, an agreement was made to sell the Pastoral Center – a block south of Marist College – to the FSL. The agreement was negotiated between FSL and the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson, the owner of the Pastoral Center property.
Once the preservation of Marist College was arranged, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and the Catholic Foundation began plans to rehabilitate and enhance what is now called Cathedral Square.  The square includes St. Augustine Cathedral; the parish rectory, that is the oldest structure in the square built sometime in the 1890s; restoration of Our Lady’s Chapel built in 1916; and the demolition of the parish hall and the construction of new parish and Pastoral Center offices with an education/conference center for Diocese and community use.
The Pastoral Center at the interm location is expected to remain in place for about two years during construction of the new center. Parking instructions and directions to the interim Pastoral Center location can be found at diocesetucson.org.

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