Fr. Will’s Roadmap

What’s up ahead for New Church Construction?

November 1, 2021

Dear Aggie Catholic friends and family,

Only two months left in 2021! We’ve seen a lot of progress on the new church over the past couple of weeks, and we’ve got another exciting few weeks in store before we give way to seeing lots of vertical steel progress. Here’s what the next few weeks will look like, weather permitting:

Week 1

We are aiming to have the slab poured on Wednesday in one pour. This will be made difficult with the rain that’s being forecasted on Wednesday, but our project manager has deemed this the most prudent option. All of the crews have been working overtime since Friday and will continue to do so to ensure final preparations are complete prior to the concrete showing up. Please pray for the forecasted rain to hold off or at least be minimized to a drizzle. Please also pray for the safety of all the workers involved, as it will be 8-10 hours of organized chaos as they work together to make this happen.

Week 2

The entire week will be devoted to wrecking (removing concrete forms that held concrete in place when they poured it) forms and preparing for steel. In addition, there will be craned delivery and setup, which is a three-day mobilization.

Week 3

This week, we’ll have steel delivery and “shakeout”, which is the offloading of all trucks that have steel, and then staging the steel in order.

Weeks 4 and 5

From there, we’ll be erecting the steel through the end of February 2022. Future monthly roadmaps may be a little sparse, but we’ll at least have some great picture and timelapse progress!


Thank you for your prayers throughout this process, and as always, keep an eye on for media updates every Friday!

Thanks, God bless, and Gig ‘em!

Fr. Will



October 1, 2021

Dear Aggie Catholic friends and family,

Another new month is upon us! We get to see the gradual progress of the construction each day, but we’re especially looking forward to when the construction starts to ascend above ground as opposed to below it! The month of September was marked with pier installation, grade beam installation, and other trenches for wiring. Those updates can be viewed on our New Church Construction page on our website. The month of October will continue to show progress on the ground level, but it lays the foundation for the exciting progress to come!

First Week of October

  • Transformer pad will be poured to support utility power

  • Grade beam pour will happen this Wednesday

  • We’ll have two more weeks of grade beam installation and pouring (looking to be done on October 22)

Second Week of October

  • Plumbing and electrical underground is scheduled to be completed on October 15.

Third Week of October

  • We will start fine grading for the foundation slab on October 18.

Fourth Week of October

  • The slab is scheduled for completion (weather permitting). This process will take a full day’s amount of work which starts really early in the morning (1:30 AM)! 

Right now, we don’t foresee material delays, but weather delays are still possible because we’re still in the ground. However, after the slab is poured, weather delays (if weather occurs) will slow us down a little bit less. We’re set to have structural steel delivered to the site during the 2nd week of November so that it can be prepared for installation. Drone photos and videos are available each Friday on this page!

It’s an exciting time here at St. Mary’s. After last year’s semesters of remote learning, it’s great to have full Masses again! And as we see these full Masses, we look forward even more to seeing how this new church will look when it’s full of people.

Thanks, Gig ‘em, and God bless!



September 1, 2021

Dear Aggie Catholic friends and family,

The beginning of the school year has been record-breaking in terms of the number of participants in our Howdy Week events. Connect, our new student retreat, had over 400 freshmen and transfer students attending. The event is 99% student-run with our pastoral team’s oversight. In the spirit of our mission of forming apostles for life after graduation, this retreat kicks-off the year and encourages students to consider joining one of our many organizations. These include John 15 (our freshmen-focused organization), Home Groups, KTB women’s sorority, Knights of Columbus, and several other events and opportunities. The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) will be building upon their initiative last year in reaching out to cadets, Greek students, and student-athletes to engage them more in community, faith and the sacraments.

With regard to the New Church construction, following the earthwork required in preparation for the pouring of the slab, we are in the process of drilling over 100 piers upon which the steel will be built, which should be completed in time for a February “topping out” ceremony. The roof, dome, bell tower and brick exterior walls will be added beginning in the spring.

It is truly an exciting time at St. Mary’s and in Aggieland!

Thanks for your continued support of our ministry, whether it be through an annual fund gift, membership in the Living Faith Society, your support of the new church or your prayers! You can view the latest artwork and concept images of the church here.

Saint Joseph, pray for us! 

Gig’em and God bless,

Fr. Will Straten ’00



June 2021

Dear Aggie Catholic friends and family,

For generations, the steeple of St. Mary’s Catholic Center has stood as a beacon, calling Aggies to the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. Thousands of students are formed here every year to be sent as apostles for the Church and the world.

Our current church was dedicated in 1958 and designed to hold 650. This was at a time when the enrollment at Texas A&M numbered 7,500. With enrollments at A&M and Blinn exceeding 70,000 (17,000 of whom are estimated to be Catholic), we are unable to fit the Aggie Catholic family into our current church during the seven weekend Masses. We expect these enrollments and thus the demand on St. Mary’s to continue to grow. That is why we are launching a campaign to build our new church with seating for 1,500+ people.

With the help of generous benefactors, we have exceeded our initial goal of $20 million. In discussion with our architects, campaign co-chairs Eddie Joe and JoAnn Davis and the campaign steering committee, we saw a fervor and excitement around this campaign that would allow us to expand past our initial goal. We then set a “stretch” goal of an additional $2 million, of which we have received over $3 million and we’re thrilled that the end is in sight.

The goal to build this church, expand the parking lot and pay for related expenses is now $28 million. To date, we have received gifts and pledges totaling $23.5 million.

This new church will be firmly grounded in the New Evangelization, using the attractive power of beauty to convey the love of God and visibly reveal the truth that the liturgy is heaven on earth. So, as we near the construction of the main church, we will continue to raise funds for certain elements not necessary to achieving the basic components of the church, but important to achieving the beauty and tradition we believe are important, and will make the church truly stunning inside and out. These elements include items such as a dome, a bell tower, sacred art and statuary.

Each year at St. Mary’s is more exciting than the last. Thank you for your support as we come to the construction phase of this life-changing project, and as we continue to minister to the students in College Station and encourage them closer to Jesus Christ.

God bless you and God bless Aggieland!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Will Straten