It is hard to imagine, in the year 2022, less than four years from now will be the 150-year anniversary of the St Joseph church building. Just ten years after the official founding of St Joseph parish community, the people of the parish built the church we have today. This community has seen a lot of changes in the world since that time: cars, planes, electricity, phones, computers, and space travel. America looks quite different too. From Jesse James, the purchase of major lands from Mexico, to putting an American flag on the moon, a Catholic president and a German pope. Freeport has changed too. Lots of hard work gave way to prosperity. Now we experience the hard times on Freeport and its residents. Families built this church; many are still here, and many are not.
Parishioners have made this journey together. Our forefathers who came from Germany, the ones who built this church, labored not just for a building; it was a labor of love for Jesus and their families. It was to be their new home. I am sure they dreamt of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren being baptized, confirmed and wedded here. They built a place where we make connections with our own family heritage, parish heritage, and a place to encounter God’s goodness. It is a place where people meet God and discover how much God really loves them. In the end of our pilgrimage of life to our heavenly homeland, it is a place that sends us forth to finally see the face of God Himself.
There are many attachments we have in the building. It is this encounter with Christ that brings such value to the walls of such sacred space. In preparation of this celebration, I have decided to write a book about it. I want to cover the symbolism of everything about the building, which I will cover in bulletin articles that follow. But I would also like to cover the families that helped build this physical building and those whose names are on the memorials of the stained glass. But I have one problem. I do not know these families that well. I need your help finding them in hopes of interviewing them.
I am also looking for pictures of this building. They can be pictures of baptisms, first communions, confirmations, weddings, or any other celebrations. A little note on what the picture is would be a great help too. Are there any family church stories you would like to share? Some can be funny, and some very touching. It is all part of our church family heritage. Do you know anyone or any families that may be interested in having input or would have valuable information?
I also plan on giving detail to what I find in the actual construction, the subsequent additions, and any changes to the building and interior. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.
Please do not be afraid to let me know about your story in this community. If you leave a message, do not forget to leave your name and contact information.
This will be a huge undertaking on my part. If there are people who would like to help me collect the information and document it, it would also be of great assistance. The proceeds would go to St Joseph Church to help pay for the upkeep of the building. I look forward to your help and guidance on this. They say in order to have a future, you have to understand the past and where you came from. Upon completion of this book, I hope not only for a deeper appreciation of this building and its history, but also a deeper love and appreciation of God’s plan for us today and tomorrow. Our forefathers came to plan for the future. Now, let us see what they learned in order to continue the tradition of looking into the future with hope.