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St. Therese Catholic Church Celebrates 75 Years

Since 1948, St. Therese Catholic Church has been an integral part of the vibrant Waynedale community. Its rich history, marked by resilience and devotion, serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of this parish.

The journey began with a surplus military chapel from the Baer Field Army base, skillfully set on its foundation by the parishioners on January 17, 1948. The church was dedicated on October 3, 1948, coinciding with the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. Reverend Schoudel led the way as the first pastor. However, challenges were not absent; a fire swept through the church in 1950, but the congregation’s unwavering faith and determination allowed for its restoration.

In 1958, the church extended its embrace to the community by opening a school. The reconstructed church basement provided space for 201 students, who were educated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration from Mishawaka. This significant step reinforced the church’s commitment to nurturing faith and knowledge within the community.

This September, the parish is commemorating a remarkable 75 years of its presence in Waynedale. Originally, Bishop Rhoades was set to lead the celebrations, but his commitment to the Synod in Rome led the Rev. Mark Gurtner, Vicar General, to preside over a special mass. The commemorative mass is scheduled for September 30, 2023, at St. Therese, 2304 Lower Huntington Road, at 5:15 pm.

Welcoming the community with open arms, the new pastor, Father Glenn Kohrman, a native of New Haven, arrived on June 20th. Having spent the last 23 years on pastoral assignments outside the area, the pastor brings a fresh perspective and renewed zeal. The pastor’s presence serves as a beacon of hope and dedication to the parishioners.

A tapestry of dedicated individuals defines the St. Therese community. The St. Vincent de Paul Society tirelessly administers a local food bank, extending a helping hand to those in need. The St. Dymphna group, a support network for individuals with mental challenges, reflects the parish’s commitment to compassion and understanding. The Knights of Columbus, an assembly of an international organization, continue their tradition of mutual support, originally established in 1882 to aid immigrants.

St. Therese, the patron saint of the parish, was renowned for infusing even the simplest acts with boundless love. Drawing inspiration from her example, the pastor seeks to mend the divisions prevalent in today’s society. Amidst a fragmented world, his mission revolves around fostering a love for Christ and for one’s neighbors, ultimately leading to unity.

Addressing the school children, the pastor imparts the message that each individual is an invaluable masterpiece, uniquely created by God for a purpose. Embracing Vince Lombardi’s philosophy of pursuing perfection to attain excellence, he encourages them to live lives that glorify God and exemplify love for their fellow human beings.

As St. Therese Catholic Church celebrates 75 years of unwavering commitment to Waynedale, its legacy serves as a beacon of light, illuminating the path of faith, compassion, and community unity for generations to come. Call 260-747-9139 for details.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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