Test of time, test of faith: 150 years for Fremont St. Joseph

FREMONT St. Joseph's Catholic Church has withstood the test of time. And today, the church willcelebrate its staying p
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

FREMONT

St. Joseph's Catholic Church has withstood the test of time.

And today, the church willcelebrate its staying power with a 150th anniversary celebration.

"The community of people has been committed to it," Father David Bruning said. "And it's certainly stood the test of time and certainly the test of faith."

Bruning has been the priest of St. Joseph since 2001 and said its 1,300 families are excited for today's mass at 4:30 p.m. The mass celebrates the closing of the church's 150th year and coincides with the precise date that the church was built.

Earl Wammes, parishioner and 150th anniversary coordinator, said the church has hosted several activities in the past year building up to this day.

The church, built in 1857, was the main parish for many German-speaking immigrants.

"I think they're (the parishioners) are appreciative of their ancestors to make this all possible," Wammes said. "They built the thing. All we have to do is maintain it."

Bishop Leonard Blair, of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, will officiate today's mass.

A dinner will follow the mass at Crystal Arbors Catering & Banquet Hall, 2270 W. Hayes Ave.

Today's mass will be one of the last ones of this year since the church will be closed the second week of January for interior renovations. The congregation will have mass in the parish hall while repairs are made.

The church is expected to reopen at the end of April, Bruning said, and has set a goal of $1.5 million for new pews, paint job and updates to the sacristy and stations of the cross. So far the church has $800,000 for the repairs.