By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
Auburn University Catholics will soon have a new home for prayer as Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi and others took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a Daily Mass Student Chapel on July 21.
The chapel will be located at 342 North College Street and will create an “L shape” connection with the Auburn Catholic Campus Ministry at 115 Mitcham Ave. The current Catholic Student Center only houses a small chapel in an upstairs room that fits “10 comfortably,” according to St. Michael Parish Pastor Msgr. William Skoneki.
“We use the same space (in the student center) for dinner and for games and parties as we use for Mass when we have Tuesday night Mass and for Monday night Adoration,” Msgr. Skoneki said. “It seemed like this would be a good thing for both the parish and for the students ultimately.”
Msgr. Skoneki said the new chapel will seat up to 150 people. It will serve as the home for Auburn Catholic Campus Ministry’s 9 p.m. Tuesday Mass, as well as the 6 p.m. Thursday Mass, which is currently at St. Michael Catholic Church.
The new chapel will be just more than one mile south of St. Michael Parish on College Street and two blocks north of famed Toomer’s Corner.
While the chapel will be new, it will actually be in a historic home. The 168-year-old Hardin-Poucher house is little more than a shell of a home and the interior will be converted into the chapel.
Parking will also increase from about 25 spaces to about 55 spaces, Msgr. Skoneki said.
Including acquiring the property, Msgr. Skoneki estimated the total cost to be at least $1.5 million.
He hopes work can be completed early next year.
“It doesn’t look like a chapel outside, but we can’t change the front because of the historic nature,” Msgr. Skoneki said. “But it is a nice setting with a beautiful front porch.”
By ROB HERBST