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Midland (formerly Koontz)

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Dedication of St Joseph's Catholic Church
January 1892

Joyce Reiss found the following article from the Weekly Civilian (microfilm # M8096 at the MD State Archives). It is only a small piece of the page but from where it was located on the microfilm it seems to have been in the weekly Friday edition about mid January, 1892. The heading of the article is torn. Also, the end of the article is missing and certain sections are hard to read.

"St. Joseph's Catholic church at Midland, was opened last Wednesday with interesting and Appropriate ceremonies. Over one thousand people were present, many coming from Frostburg and Lonaconing. The interior of the church was tastefully decorated with flowers, ferns, and evergreens, the latter being twined in graceful wreaths over the doors and windows, and in front of the altar and gallery. The altar was draped in white, decorated with ferns and flowers, and lit up with a large number of candles. The decorations which were in charge of Mrs. Robert Murray and Mrs. Patrick Monahan, contrasted well with the surroundings. Everything was bright and new even to the chalice and vestments, and a more delightful place to worship in on Christmas day would be hard to find.

The ceremonies consisted of high mass, sermon, and benediction. Rev. Father Manning for many years pastor at Lonaconing was the celebrant, and was assisted by Rev. Stephen Clarke, of Frostburg, and sixteen acolytes. The choir, which has just been formed sang Stark's Mass in C, Miss Liza Sarah Cunningham being the soloist and Mr. Henry Kernan tenor. The choir has been organized but a short time, and its performance was highly creditable. Miss Aggie Slannon, of Frostburg, teacher of the choir, was the organist.

In his sermon Father Manning congratulated the people of Midland and Ocean, on the handsome church which their zeal and generosity had built. Its influence for good would be widely felt, and the work, of which it would be the centre, would be for the betterment and elevation of the community. He hoped they would show greater faith than ever in Christ and the divine teachings.

The church, which is in the open roof Gothic style of architecture, is a handsome edifice, forty by sixty-five feet, and was designed by Mr. John Stack & Son, architects, Baltimore. It is fifty-five feet from ground to ridge, and the belfry and steeple are thirty feet high, the steeple being eighty feet from the ground. It is heated by hot air, the furnace being from Wm. Wood & Co., Baltimore. The windows are stained glass, and the outside wood-work is painted stone color, this work having been done by James Marquis, Lonaconing. The foundation was built by Slue (sp?) and Morgan, Lonaconing, and the wood work was done by F. Mertens Sons, Cumberland.

Above the main entrance is a handsome circular window of stained glass six feet in diameter, containing the square and lily, the emblem of St. Joseph. The interior is handsomely finished in hard wood, the floor and wainscoating being of ash. The pews, which are from the Globe Furniture Company of Northville, Mich. are of highly polished oak.

The altar was designed and built by Mr. Stack and in size and finish corresponds with the rest of the church. The chalice used was of gold and is the gift of Miss Anne Kerney, of Frostburg. A very handsome set of six vestments was presented by Miss Annie Gannon, of Westernport.

The necessity of a church for this part of the community has been manifest for a long time, and the idea of erecting the present building took definite shape this spring. Work was begun on the foundation in May, and the corner-stone was laid on June 28th. Father Thomas Donahue, of Washington, delivering the ___dress on the occasion. Since then____has been progressing steadily, _____ building is now almost complete.

The basement will probably _______ for a school house and meeting______.

Father Manning will likely _______ assistant as he has now two co____tions, a considerable distance a_____ look after.

_______ formal dedication __________ 1893.


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