Knights will bring new day to JP II Center

The troubled museum in Washington, previously owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit, will soon have new owners.

From the Washington Post:

After losing millions of dollars over a decade, a museum and think tank in Northeast Washington that was built to honor Pope John Paul II has found a buyer that hopes the center will find new life as a shrine.

The Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic men’s organization, announced Tuesday that it will purchase the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center from the foundation that has been struggling to run it. The 130,000-square-foot, 12-acre building has been virtually shuttered for years, open by appointment only as church officials tried to figure out what to do with it.

The deal was announced in Denver at the annual convention of the Knights of Columbus.

“This purchase is good for the church, good for the Knights of Columbus, good for the [Pope John Paul II Cultural Foundation] and good for all those who have faithfully supported the foundation and cultural center over the years,” said the Rev. Steven Boguslawski, the foundation’s executive director. “The Knights of Columbus will bring a new vibrancy to the building.”

The center, created by the Detroit Archdiocese, was hindered by a decline in tourism after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and a location that is out of the way for most visitors. The archdiocese’s leaders wanted to honor the late pope and spent more than $54 million on the project.

But Catholics in Detroit protested the money-losing project at a time when their archdiocese reportedly owes tens of millions of dollars.

Read more about the terms of the deal.

And drop by the JP II Cultural Center website for more about the exhibits they present and work they do.


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