September 15th, 2014 (Wauseon, OH) In 1850, St. Caspar’s church began as a small missionary station, visited by priests on horseback as they made their way through swamp and forest. The original frame church was built on the corner of Jefferson & Clinton Streets. Sadly, in 1895, this wooden structure burnt to the ground. Determined, parishioners were able to rebuild the church through the support of the local Wauseon community. Many different denominations shared in this effort. By September 1896, a brick edifice, with a tall steeple was erected. This building served as the parish church until it was outgrown in 1960. After years of fundraising, a new church was built and dedicated in 1965 on 40 acres off of Shoop Avenue, where it currently stands. At this time, the old church on Jefferson and Clinton Streets was vacated. However, the brick from this church was saved by Bill Clark, who created the present apartments on that site with the same brick.
The unified Christian effort was bonding for all of the Christian community throughout Wauseon. This was noted in St. Caspar’s meager beginning, but it continued as Christianity grew in togetherness through Fr. Paul Mueller’s personal involvement in the Ministerial Association of Wauseon in 1970. Now, in 2014, Fr. Dave Bruning is President of this same Ministerial Association, continuing to share Christ with fellow Christians in Wauseon.
The Parish Festival..
Over the years, the parishioners did all they could to help raise the money needed for these church buildings, as well as to provide for the services in education and care of the people in this parish. It is not noted what year the Parish Festival began; but pictures show us that in the original basement of the church built on Shoop Ave, the leaders of the congregation realized they now had space for a big fund-raising event…a Parish Festival. All persons were asked to participate. And, indeed they did.
Live turkeys were chanced off, and soon these annual events became known as “Feather Parties.” Luscious, home-made food was brought in by every man, woman and child. Much of this was homegrown and all cooked to be ready for dinner. All residents in the surrounding area were invited to join in this event. Yes, it was a great fundraiser…but even more, a great renewal of bonding that had started over 150 years ago.
St. Caspar’s Festival, Sept. 28, 2014.
Some things do not change and this parish event is in process once more. A few years ago, co-chairpersons, Randi Wudi and Cathy Drummer, suggested that we try to “go back to the olden days,” and re-create the food provided back then. Under their leadership, this year’s festival will feature:
*homemade noodles…yes, truly from flour and eggs.
*no more feathered birds, but a “hog roast” including pork with all the fixings including potatoes, fresh vegetables, home-made apple butter to top the fresh bread and homemade pies will serve the many hungry dinner-goers.
*And, the Spanish cuisine is a great added dimension to culture blends over the years.
*Games and activities of fun-together is reminiscent that these EVENTS were for the wholefamily.
*Big tickets for cash money, as well as chances on many homemade craft items, and Big & Buy specialties, along with chances on a homemade quilt… still bind it all together.
COME JOIN US for a tradition of family, faith and fellowship from 11:30am-3:30pm on September 28th, 2014 at St. Caspar’s Catholic Church, 1205 North Shoop Avenue, Wauseon, OH 43567. For more information, contact 419-337-2322.
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