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Oldest Catholic Church Building in Springfield gets Major Facelift

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Parishioners who worship at St Bernard’s in Springfield are worshiping in the original church built in 1870, ten years after the parish founding. But they will soon enjoy a more attractive, weather-secure facility.

Parish business manager John Herzog said the church was renovated in 1924, but at that time the construction firm did not seal the roof and steeple, leaving it vulnerable to the elements.

“Ninety-four years later, St. Bernard’s was able to raise the money – in excess of $350,000 — to seal the church and its steeple dome to protect it from the weather and to secure the bricks on its façade to keep them from crumbling and pealing.

Herzog said that the project should be complete this summer. At that time, work will begin to secure the school building that is adjacent to the church to give it better interior and exterior security.

Brian Brothers Paint and Restoration from Piqua has been contracted to do the work.

The dome of the steeple was thought to be made of exterior wood, but Brian Brothers confirmed when he finally got up to it with the scaffolding, that it was actually made of copper that had been painted green. They are now painting the dome and bronze fixtures gold, also to keep it secure and waterproof and to improve its appearance.

The project has breathed new life into the church’s appearance while simultaneously giving it the interior and exterior protection it much needed, Herzog said.

St Bernard Church, Springfield, before 1924 (Courtesy Photo)
St Bernard Church, Springfield, before 1924 (Courtesy Photo)
St. Bernard Church, Springfield, undergoing renovation. (Courtesy Photo)
St. Bernard Church, Springfield, undergoing renovation. (Courtesy Photo)
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