Church plans historical program

Staff report

BOTKINS — Immaculate Conception Parish, North Main Street, will host “Building a Church, Rebuilding a Nation” on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m., in the IC basement.

The program will be presented by Dr. Kevin Schmiesing as part of the church’s 150th anniversary celebration. It is free and open to the public.

In 1865, the United States began the difficult process of healing from the scars left by the most violent conflict in its history. Meanwhile, in Botkins, a few German Catholic families started construction on a new church. As the nation worked to repair the damage inflicted by the Civil War, American Catholics worked to build the institutions that would serve their rapidly growing community. Schmiesing will describe how both the church and the country faced a future of great promise, but also a struggle to overcome the problems of the past. The way they responded to those opportunities and challenges shaped the world that we live in today.

Schmiesing is a research fellow at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and teaches church history in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Lay Pastoral Ministry Program. He is the author of two books and many articles on the history of Catholicism in the United States, and is a regular guest on the “SonRise Morning Show” on the EWTN global Catholic radio network. He lives in Sidney with his wife, Anne, and their seven children.

Immaculate Conception is currently served by the Rev. Patrick Sloneker, pastor, and the Rev. Daniel Hunt, associate pastor. The parish is in the Petersburg Pastoral Region with Fryburg St. John, Rhine St. Lawrence, and Wapakoneta St. Joseph, so named for the now-vanished Petersburg settlement (between Wapakoneta and Botkins) from which the parishes emerged in the 19th century.

For more information, call Rachel Barber, 419-738-4924.

Staff report