A church grows in Dutchess County

Cardinal Egan got to do something yesterday that bishops don’t get to do all that often: consecrate a new church building.

He was up in LaGrangeville in Dutchess County to bless the brand, spanking new Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church.

The parish was started nine years ago as a mission church, serving about 320 people spilling over from Hopewell Junction.

But Catholic growth in the area has been so great that the new church can seat 1,000 people — and that’s how many people were there yesterday.

The new church’s namesake is Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian woman who lived upstate in the 1600s and became a Christian despite opposition within her tribe. A reclic — or piece of her remains — was placed in the church’s altar yesterday.

Karl Rabe of the Poughkeepsie Journal got lots of great pictures, including these:

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.