Steamboat Springs Holy Name Catholic Parish has purchased an Old Town house adjacent to its campus, preserving its options in the case that it wants to expand in the future.
The parish purchased a home at 543 Pine St. from Peggy F. Barry for $395,000.
Technically, the home is being held by the Denver Archdiocese. But in reality, the archdiocese is lending the money to purchase the property to the local parish.
Father George Schroeder said there are no immediate expansion plans, but the parish saw a chance to increase its options at its present site.
"We can use (the new house) for some meetings and possibly some staff housing," Schroeder said.
Holy Name is located across Oak Street from the Routt County Courthouse annex and parking lot, where the county intends to build a two-deck parking structure.
"We have a whole block between Fifth and Sixth streets on the Oak Street side," Schroeder said.
Holy Name, which was established in 1907, now has 550 registered families, but vacationers from all over the country worship at the church on Oak Street.
"We see a lot of visitors," George said. I think Roman Catholics tend to go to church when they're on vacation," more than some other denominations, he said. "Oftentimes now, there is standing-room only."
Holy Name parishioners originally celebrated Mass in a single-family home where the current preschool now stands. The modern church was built in 1964.
George celebrates Mass five times every weekend, four times in Steamboat and once in Oak Creek. He does get some help during the winter when other priests from the archdiocese come to Steamboat for a ski weekend he swaps a free place to stay in exchange for some help with Mass.
"We also host a lot of youth groups," George said. "We had 30 youngsters sleeping in the church basement over the weekend."