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Springfield parish celebrates 25 years of faithful service

Nearly 300 parishioners of St. Joseph Church marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Springfield parish with a special Mass May 14 with Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss.

The archbishop also blessed the parish's meditation garden and bronze statue of St. Joseph. A dinner followed the blessing. "It was a wonderful celebration," Father Charles Swanson, pastor at St. Joseph. "The parishioners are very happy that theparish has been around 25 years and they look forward to 25 more years of church history in Springfield."

St. Joseph Parish was formally established April 11, 1980. The parish now has 220 families.

The first scheduled Mass in Springfield was held in the elementary school on Sept. 11, 1971. It was here that Masses were held on a weekly basis during the next few years.

St. Joseph began as a mission to St. Columbkille Parish of Papillion. The priests from St. Columbkille celebrated the weekly Masses until Sept. 17, 1982, when Father Robert Preisinger was appointed the first pastor of St. Joseph.

A social hall was built that was used as a church and served as a multi-purpose space for classrooms, social center, pastoral office, sacristy, religious education office and reconciliation room. It was dedicated Oct. 20, 1985.

The church was completed in 1989 and formally dedicated by Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan on Dec. 15, 1989. At the time, the rectory was located on North 3rd Street, but plans were made for a new rectory on the parish site. This building was completed in 1992.

In addition to Father Preisinger, priests who have served the parish as pastor include Father James Cain and the late Father Richard Swolek. Father Joseph Broudou served as administrator for one year before Father Charles Swanson, the current pastor, was assigned to the parish in 2004.

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