By Roseanne Tellez

(CBS) – On the North Side, parents and parishioners at St. Matthias are baffled.

After a four-year fundraising effort to build an addition at the church’s elementary school, the Archdiocese of Chicago is scrapping the plan.

“We thought we were on course,” Pat Kubistal tells CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez.

Parishoners thought they were on course to build an addition to the St. Matthias Elementary School.

But then Father Larry McNally announced in the church newsletter made this announcement: “A moratorium has been placed on any new construction or rehabbing of buildings in the Archdiocese for the next two to three years.”

Parents say enrollment is up at St Matthias in the booming Lincoln Square neighborhood. And more than $600,000 had already been collected to expand the school, with more than $1 million pledged.

“Father Larry has done and unbelievable job helping us raise money, and now we don’t know what’s going to happen to it,” parent Sean Henning says.

The Archdiocese confirms the project’s suspension.

“The expansion plans for St. Matthias School have been indefinitely postponed due to a variety of factors,” a statement says. “The archdiocese does not move forward with partially funded projects.”

“That part of the church operates like corporate America,” Kubistal says. “The rest of us go to church, we pray we do good works — we expect kindness. And I think that’s what the shock is.”

St. Matthias Parish will decide what to do with the money already raised for the school expansion, the Archdiocese says.

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