By Lorraine Thompson
In an official ceremony Sept. 5, Bishop Felipe Estévez blessed and dedicated the new St. Enda of Aran Formation Center at St. Anastasia Catholic Church in St. Augustine. With Pastor Timothy Linderfelser and parishioners of all ages participating, the event began with a prayer service in the church followed by the blessing of the new center by Bishop Estévez. The event concluded with a reception in the new building which includes nine classrooms, a nursery, three meeting rooms, a choir rehearsal room and a multipurpose room named St. Jude Celebration Hall.
Amenities include a professional kitchen for caterers, a long pedestal table that can be used as a buffet, and a stage with state-of-the-art sound system plus high speed fiber optic Wi-Fi throughout.
St. Anastasia was founded in 1985 as a mission church. The parish has grown into a faith community with more than 1,600 member families. Along with that growth was the need for religious education classrooms as well as space for church and community events. With plenty of available land on the church property, a 57-acre parcel of land at A1A South and Weff Road on Anastasia Island, and after years of fundraising, the formation center was recently completed.
However, there was one thing lacking, and that was a more identifying name for the building. That’s when a “name the building” fundraiser took place. Last December, the congregation was given the choice of names: All Saints, St. Gabriel, and St. Enda of Aran. The overwhelming choice was St. Enda of Aran.
Although not officially tied to the choice, many parishioners related the name to their beloved Sister Enda Egan, a Sister of Mercy, who was a pastoral associate for more than
18 years, serving with Father Seamus O’Flynn. Both Sister Egan and Father O’Flynn are now retired. However, Sister Enda now serves as chaplain at Flagler Hospital and Community Hospice Bailey Family Center for Caring. She continues to assist at the church in a variety of services.
Both St. Enda of Aran and Sister Enda Egan were born in Ireland. St. Enda was born in Meath, Ireland, and died in 530. Sister Enda Egan was born in 1940 in Castletown-Geoghegan in County Westmeath.