JOPLIN, MO.--- A church and school that was destroyed in the May 2011 tornado is on track with their rebuilding efforts. Father Justin Monaghan hopes that they can finish the roof on the school soon, plus the church is continuing to raise money for the construction. Now, a donation from the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri will put the church closer to its construction goal.
"I was speechless. I just looked and I was shocked," said Father Justin Monaghan, St. Mary's.
Father Monaghan was surprised when the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri awarded his church a $300,000 Joplin Recovery Fund Grant.
"It's one of those things that we are saying, 'how are we going to get there? How are we going to raise this?' They just made it possible for us to say, 'we are going to make our goal," said Father Monaghan.
Saint Mary's Catholic Church and School is building a new facility off of 32nd and Central City Road. The Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri gave them the grant because of all they've given back to the community.
"This makes our goal really much easier," said Father Monaghan.
Father Monaghan says their plan to open the new school in August is on track, as well as their plan to open their church by next Christmas. The grant puts the church much closer to its construction budget goal.
"They came in this morning. The first thing they said was congratulations! Everyone was on a high. It was just everything we hoped and prayed for," said Father Monaghan.
The church needs to raise roughly $200,000 more to reach their construction budget of more than $15 million.
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