Local News Archive
Print Issue: July 2, 1981
After 23 Years, A Church Dedication
On Sunday, March 15, a dream became a reality! The Lamar County Catholic Community had Mass for the first time in their own newly renovated church. For years, Catholics of Lamar County had dreamed of having their own church. But because of the small number of Catholics, this had been impossible until now.
Actually, the first Mass offered in Lamar County was held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Deraney about 23 years ago. A Redemptorist priest came from Griffin and only a handful of people were present. This continued for a couple of years, but as their numbers grew, Mr. Deraneys home became too small. So they moved their services to the Womens Club and stayed there for twenty years. The priest still came from Griffin; and the people still dreamed of having their own church.
Slowly their members grew, and in May of 1979 they purchased the Old Barnesville Academy. At last they had their own building! There was a lot of work to be done--planning, ripping out of classroom walls, insulating, rewiring and erecting new walls and ceilings, paneling, putting up sheet rock, etc. Sacrifice and prayer were mixed in with the cinderblocks and cement that went into St. Anns as the parishioners did all the construction themselves.
During this time they were still having Mass at the Womens Club. It wasnt until they finished the hall section of their building that they could have Mass in their own building (even if it was the parish hall and not the church). It was on the first Sunday of Advent 1979 that the congregation was able to offer Mass for the first time in their building, and part of the dream was realized. But the atmosphere of the place, though extremely nice, was temporary.
So with the hall finished and being used for services, the congregation now turned its attention to the church section of the building. Beams went up for the ceiling and the process of insulating, rewiring, and putting up drywall to cover the cinderblocks was repeated. Finally, with the laying of carpet and the moving in of the pews, the dream became a reality! And on March 15, Father Joseph Majewski, a Redemptorist priest who still comes from Griffin, offered the first Mass in the new church.
The congregation has already turned its attention to remodeling the last section of the building which will be living quarters for a priest to live in Barnesville. (No longer will he have to come from Griffin.) After this, they will tackle the outside of the building and the landscaping.
The official dedication of the church to the honor and glory of God came June 28 with Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan officiating. This was followed by an open house. The people of St. Anns realize that cinderblock and brick do not make a church! Faith and dedication, love of God and their caring for each other this is what makes a church! It is important to them to dedicate their church; but they have already dedicated themselves!