JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Members of a Catholic parish in Joplin that had its church, rectory and elementary school destroyed in a May 2011 tornado have celebrated Mass at their new church for the first time.
The Joplin Globe reports hundreds of residents on Wednesday packed the new St. Mary's Catholic Church for a dedication service and its first Mass. The service was led by the Most Rev. James Johnston, bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese, and the Rev. Justin Monaghan.
Parishioners applauded as Johnston was presented with the key and blueprints of the new 750-seat church. He then blessed the church, sprinkling water over the walls and the altar.
A multimillion dollar fundraising campaign, insurance proceeds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations funded the construction of the new church.