It was years in the making, but well worth the effort, judging by the response at a recognition night for donors and supporters of the Moorpark Pantry Plus facility at the new Ruben Castro Human Services Center in Moorpark.Formerly known as the Moorpark Food Pantry and housed in a cramped trailer several blocks away, Pantry Plus is located in a new 25,000-square-foot human services center that provides food as well as non-emergency social, educational and charitable services. Catholic Charities of Ventura County and Holy Cross Church, Moorpark, are among many community groups, churches, businesses and individuals which support the center.Representatives of those groups joined the Nov. 8 celebration (the center was officially dedicated and opened in late September), where tribute was paid to the late director of the Pantry, for whom the new center is named. Among those on hand was Hugh Riley, Moorpark’s assistant city manager and community services director, who served as the project manager for the city.“This was years in the making, although construction was completed in 13 months,” noted Riley, a parishioner of Holy Cross Church. “It took some time to find tenants so that all of these services could be offered under one roof, so it’s very exciting to see this come together.”Santa Barbara Region Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, among those who spoke at the recognition dinner, told the guests that the building represents an effort to address Jesus’ teaching as suggested in Matthew 25, because it serves “our brothers and sisters who are most in need. And there can be no better human or faith-filled goal than that.”Ruben Castro, who died in 2009, was a Holy Cross parishioner and former executive regional director of Catholic Charities who was honored by Pope John Paul II for his long community and church service. Several of his family members were present at the dinner, including his grandson Antonio who told the assembled donors that their generosity reflected the spirit of his grandfather.As one who had been seen the growth of Catholic Charities’ outreach efforts in Moorpark through several decades, Msgr. Joseph Cosgrove, retired pastor of Holy Cross, offered thanks “for the life of Ruben Castro. In 24 years of service to this community through Catholic Charities, he incorporated the two great commandments: love of God and love of neighbor.”Moorpark Pantry Plus is open 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. For information or to donate, call (805) 529-0720. {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1214/sbmoorpark/{/gallery}