In 1968, the Catholic population in Wildwood, FL was growing. By 1973, the continued growth inspired Father William Killian, Pastor of St. Paul Parish in Leesburg, to celebrate Mass in Catholic homes. By 1981, so many Catholic families had come to the area that there was a higher demand for space. As a result, Mass was started at the Page-Theus Funeral Home Chapel in Wildwood, FL. This continued for 13 years.
In 1993, the Diocese of Orlando purchased 19 acres of land north of Wildwood. Fundraising began and construction of a mission church building followed. The building had a capacity of 400 and was completed on June 5, 1994. The opening ceremony and Mass were held at the new St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Mission. In 2002, Fr. Peter Sagorski was assigned as a priest for the Mission Church. In 2004, due to the continued growth, Bishop Thomas Wenski designated this mission as a parish. The surrounding area continued to grow. As a result, the church needed to expand. Due to the generosity of the parishioners through everyday stewardship and a capital campaign, the ability to build a new church went from a dream to a reality.
In 2013, Father Peter Puntal arrived as Pastor and construction began on the building of a larger Church. The new church of St. Vincent de Paul was dedicated by Bishop John Noonan on August 27, 2014. A parking lot expansion occurred, as well, to accommodate the increased attendance. A new rectory and maintenance building were built and blessed by Bishop Noonan on November 18, 2017.
A survey was conducted of the parishioners to help determine our needs for the future. To fulfill the needs identified, the parish began a new Capital Campaign in 2017, “Building the Way to Heaven”. The funds raised were designated for the building of a new Family Life Center, and expansion of the church. The Family Life Center will include a social hall, a catering kitchen, library, religious gift store, meeting rooms and administrative offices.
The church expansion will provide approximately 800 additional seats. In May 2018, the Diocese approved the request to hire an architect. In July 2018, the Diocese approved the project and plans to proceed with the Family Life Center. As of August 2019, the capital campaign has raised pledges of more than 3.7 million dollars. In November 2019, the demolition of the old church building and construction of the Family Life Center is estimated to begin.
On behalf of a grateful parish family, Father Peter would like to thank the parishioners who have contributed and made this possible. It is estimated that the Family Life Center will be completed in November of 2020. The church expansion will begin shortly after the completion of the Family Life Center. We are truly blessed as a community. Our parish continues to grow and all are welcome to join our community.
We hope you join our Parish family. If you are interested, please visit our How to Join Page here.