A set a of stairs connects the third and fourth floors inside the new diocesan pastoral center next to St. Augustine Cathedral.

A celebration is set for Sunday, April 28 — starting with noon Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral — for the completion of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson’s new conference and pastoral center.

Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger and Bishop Emeritus Gerald F. Kicanas will concelebrate the Mass, followed by a ribbon cutting and blessing of the building that sits in a complex known as Cathedral Square. The square surrounds the cathedral at 192 S. Stone Ave.

Speakers at the event will include Mayor Jonathan Rothschild; Fletcher McCusker, chairman of the board for the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment district; and Weisenburger and Kicanas.

The four-story energy-efficient building cost about $20 million, most coming from private donors. The remainder, under $2 million, was financed by the diocese, said Steff Koeneman, diocesan spokeswoman.

She said the 55,000-square- foot building stands in the place of a former parish hall and is the last of several buildings that comprise a block of historic and new construction.

The first floor of the building houses the cathedral’s parish offices and also has meeting rooms with big-screen technology to host educational workshops and meetings for parishes, ministries and other groups.

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The second floor has a dividable conference center that can host up to 500 people and is equipped with a warming kitchen to use for banquets.

The third and fourth floors are home to the Pastoral Center offices that serve the parishes and ministries of the diocese.

Koeneman said the Cathedral Square project began in 2007 with the creation of a placita in honor of Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo to the north of the cathedral. The project included extensive redesign of the cathedral’s interior and painting of its exterior.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at cduarte@tucson.com or 573-4104. On Twitter: @cduartestar


Carmen started at the Star in 1981 and covers the aging population. She wrote “Mama’s Santos: An Arizona Life”, a book about the Mexican and Mexican-American experience in the Southwest through stories about her family. It won 11 awards.