Thursday, June 29, 2006

Downtown church difficult to miss with its new spire

For parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown St. Paul, its new steeple offers the visibility the congregation has long sought. "It makes the building complete," said a longtime parishioner who donated the $180,000 for the steeple but wishes to remain anonymous.

On Wednesday, the 60-foot steeple was hoisted atop the church's 50-foot bell tower. A 10-foot-tall handmade aluminum cross will be added later. The church, at 261 E. Eighth St., was built in 1921, although the parish dates to 1865.

The steeple will draw attention and help distinguish the Catholic church from the nearby Baptist church, said the Rev. Shaji Pazhukkathara, interim pastor. The new spire, which will be illuminated at night, will be an identity marker for the church, said trustee George Menard, 73, a parishioner there since 1951.

In the past, out-of-town visitors had trouble finding the church amid downtown buildings and often ended up driving around, he said. [snip] St Paul PioneerPress

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