Columbus parish’s sacrifice pays off
In 2001, Father Joseph Miksch didn’t think a church could even be built for St. Isidore Parish in Columbus.
This year, he helped celebrate making final payments on the $8.2 million church with a mortgage burning ceremony at weekend Masses Feb. 20 and Feb. 21.
And the parish – at least for now – is debt free.
"We’re sure pleased and excited," Father Miksch said.
Participating in the ceremony were Norbert and Loretta Ciecior, who built their dream home to be near the school. But making room for the church, they sold their home to the parish before ground was broken in 2005 and moved some distance away.
"It was a major sacrifice for them," Father Miksch said. "I really admire them for that."
Their sacrifice is emblematic of the sacrifice of all parishioners, he said.
When he called together parish leaders in 2001, Father Miksch said, it was to discuss the possibility of renovating the worship space built into the elementary school in 1965, perhaps with new carpeting and installing stained glass windows.
After all, the school needed major repairs, as well, Father Miksch said.
But the question was raised: ‘"You mean we are not going to build a new church?"’ he said.
With that prompting, Father Miksch conducted a survey and found 85 percent of parishioners supported building a church. And over time, thanks to parishioners making donations large and small, school renovations and church construction have taken place, he said.