Liberal parish celebrates burning of mortgage
LIBERAL -- As a cool breeze wafted through Light Park, bringing relief to more than 200 parishioners, Bishop John B. Brungardt set to flame the mortgage of St. Anthony Church.
The parishioners, some sitting in their own canvas seats, others perched in the grass on a hillside, erupted in applause.
The symbolic burning of the mortgage took place June 17, four days after the Feast of St. Anthony, and a mere eight years after the parish took on a $2.6 million loan to construct their new church.
This celebration was highly unlikely -- at least according to an early feasibility study, which stated that paying off such a loan would take the parish far longer than eight years. The fact that Bishop Brungardt, pastor Father Jim Dieker, and visiting from Washington, D.C., former pastor Father Patrick Keyes, CSsR, were celebrating the Mass, paid homage to the many hours of efforts -- hard work, tireless fundraising -- by the various committees, and from many of those sitting in the congregation.
Bishop Brungardt remarked on the “sacrifice, generosity, courage and faithfulness in our Risen Lord,” before thanking all those for their hard work.
The morning and afternoon celebration included games for the children, and a free hamburger and hotdog lunch. National Beef and Brian McMullen donated the beef, while Jose and Yvonne Morales donated the bread. Liberal Standard Supply donated the water. Walmart, Dillons and Bestmarket offered reduced prices on other items for the celebration.
The parish gratefully recognized all those who made the day possible.