Parish members of Our Lady of the Assumption Church built a new sanctuary to accommodate overcrowding. Friday night’s dedication service for the new building was more of the same.
But, it isn’t anticipated the church will see the 317 who attended but officials do pledge to "have room for those who want to come home to the Catholic church."
The new church, for which the architectural plans and the key to was presented to Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, who also cut the ribbon to allow the throng of parishoners and visitors into the building Friday, will seat 175 to 200.
That’s more than double what the previous sanctuary seated, although the church was drawing about 120 for mass when construction began on the new building in August.
The original church had been dedicated on July 25, 1956 which was about three years following masses beginning in the city, according to church history. Initially, mass was held in a National Guard Armory, and later in a courtroom in the courthouse.
Friday’s dedication was the culmination of a project that actually began as a fundraising project in 2008 while Father Don Tranel led the church. Tranel was in town for the dedication Friday and carried a Relic stone that was placed in the new alter in the church.
Tranel came to the church in 2006 from the Glenmary Home Missioners and in 2012 the church transitioned from a mission church to a Diocesan Parish, church history states.
In addition to the new church, the sign in front of Oak Hill Cemetery on Highway 10 providing direction to the church was also replaced with a new one on Friday.