MECCA, Calif. -

For the last eight years, about 3000 Catholics in Mecca didn't have a church to worship in. Since the roof caved in on an old church - they've prayed in a tent.

"For about two months they had no covering simply pews in a parking lot. Several thousand would gather outside, subsequently a  tent was put over but no air. Then a tent with air for several years," Faither Howard Lincoln From Sacred Heart Church said.

Catholics all over the valley - starting with Father Lincoln and a donor at Sacred Heart Church in Palm Desert - came together to raise money for a new church.

"Within two months we had already gathered with pledges about two and half million dollars," Faither Lincoln said.
 
All this money - to build a $4.3 million church.  It's wonderful news in Mecca.

"Most of the people in the community are catholics," said Ana Delgado.

Almost one decade after the roof collapsed, construction is well underway on the new church. Father Lincoln said it should be ready in about one year. 

"The re-bars are all up so we have 18000 square feet of re-bars and we are pouring the slab on Ash Wednesday," Faither Lincoln said.

It’s a special time for Catholics to see such a special project moving forward.

“Very amazing. It's a Catholic community and they have done very well,” Delgado said.