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St. Dom's breaks ground for $1.3M parish center

Published: Thu, April 26, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern



  St. Dominic Ground Breaking

Ground was broken today for a new parish center at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown.

Ground was broken today for a new parish center at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown.

With the turn of a shovel, St. Dominic Church dug its roots even deeper into the city’s South Side.

The church at 77 Lucius Ave. had a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony Wednesday led by Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown for a new $1.3 million 4,000-square-foot parish center.

“The social hall and commercial kitchen will bring good activity into the neighborhood and build community,” said the Rev. Greg Maturi of St. Dominic Church.

The parish center is funded by donations and will be built on a large portion of the church’s existing parking lot, which is on the west side of the church.

The church already has collected much of the $1.3 million needed for the construction, but still will seek donations for kitchen supplies and other items.

Across the street from St. Dominic, the church purchased the lot on the northwest corner of the Lucius Avenue and Southern Boulevard intersection, once the site of a plumbing company. It demolished a vacant building there and will pave it for additional parking spaces.

The parish center is expected to be completed in March. Father Maturi said a local contractor for the project will be chosen in coming weeks.

Longtime parishioner Joan Ruffing of Boardman said St. Dominic has needed a center like this for years.

“This parish needs this. It will be used to meet for social reasons, and we needed a place for children, for Sunday school, [Confraternity of Christian

Doctrine] classes and bereavement dinners,” Ruffing said.

But throughout Wednesday’s ceremony, it was stressed that the center not only will serve the parish but also the neighborhood.

Father Maturi said the center is part of Operation Redemption, an initiative to revive the neighborhood by demolishing vacant houses and greening out vacant lots, some to be used for youth sports.

Operation Redemption began after a string of violent crime in the neighborhood that claimed two parishioners as homicide victims.

Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone praised the parish center project and Father Maturi’s leadership.

“He won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, not even ‘maybe.’ You need people like this throughout the city, and we do have them. Once this is built, the community has got to support it,” Sammarone said.

Victoria Allen, a South Side resident and block-watch leader, didn’t stop smiling throughout the ceremony.

“I’m so excited. It’s a place we can go, right here in our neighborhood. I’m super excited,” she said.

When the ceremony ended and observers walked to their cars, Father Maturi was asked what the South Side neighborhood will look like in 25 years.

“I see it has been revitalized. ... I see parents bringing kids to school and residents walking the streets freely,” he answered.


1gingerspice(142 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

GOD will Always take a negative and turn it into a positive! Maybe not in the ways WE think it should happen, but, according to HIS WAY!! GOD BLESS Rev. Maturi and all those involved to bring this to fruition!!

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2grand4dad(218 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

God bless Father Maturi and the parishoners of St. Dom's. It is good to see someone investing in the revitalization of the south side.

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3snworb56(53 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I truly hope they are very successful.....but someone explain to me how they can spend 1.3 million and churches are being closed?

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4Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Great Job Father Maturi. Keep the Faith.

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5anothermike(227 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

"explain to me how they can spend 1.3 million...." It is my understanding that these were ALL private donations....nothing to do with the Diocese, taxpayers money or politicians......

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6snworb56(53 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Anothermike.... Thanks. I meant no dissrespect only wondering.

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7walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Very simple. St. Dominic's Parish has raised the funds specifically for the parish center. The bishop does have the power to demand funds to be in place and the size of any proposed mortgage. Also, St Dominic's is staffed by priests of the Dominican order, not by the Diocese of Youngstown. Dominicans, like Franciscans, take an additional vow of poverty as opposed to the Diocesan priests that don't, but are paid a stipend based on a scale. The other churches in the diocese are staffed by diocesan priests, of which there are a shortage. Also, some of the older parishes are simply too small to support the physical plant of the church, so they have been closed. Kudos go to Bishop Murry for grabbing the bull by the horns and making some tough changes.

And, the caption on the photo is incorrect. Fr. Maturi is the priest to the RIGHT, not the lefrt. All Dominicans can be clearly identified by their white vestments and large black rosary beads hanging from their belt. VERITAS!

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8me45duprey(2 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I lived in St Doms parish during the latter part of its heyday. It broke my heart to have to sell my mom's home in the 200 block of E Lucius after her death in 1990.. During that time there was a large physical plant: school, church, convent, rectory, and some kind of social hall for parish functions.

As time went by everything "shrank" into a more fiscally responsible size. (That was a loss to the neighborhood, even though it was necessary at the time.)

I'm very happy that the neighborhood is being revitalized.

May God pour abundant blessings on this project & protect it from all violence.

PS: The torn down plumbing place was once a grocery store.

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9walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Longtime parishioner Joan Ruffing of Boardman said St. Dominic has needed a center like this for years.

Anyone know if this woman is related to a Jim Ruffing that taught at St. Doms in the 60's?

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10JoeFromHubbard(1805 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

My childhood days were spent in that area from the mid 1940's to about 1959. It was a good place to live and play as a child with no fear of crime in the early 1950's. I attended mass at St. Dom's in the church building that preceded the current structure. The neighborhood has gone through a terrible decline but the church remains a bright spot of hope and survival. Fr. Maturi is doing a fine job with a difficult task. I believe that the area will revitalize when the blight is removed as is being done now.

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11gingerspice(142 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Diane86... What a negative spirit you spew! But, as I mentioned, GOD will take a "negative" and turn it into a positive!! GOD BLESS YOU anyhow!!

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