Looking down on the line of showcases including historical pictures and artifacts from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Fr. Tony Fortman stands at the end of the ribbon used for the dedication. (Photo submitted)
Looking down on the line of showcases including historical pictures and artifacts from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Fr. Tony Fortman stands at the end of the ribbon used for the dedication. (Photo submitted)
GLANDORF — A project that started out as one man’s dream, with the help of an entire parish, has become a reality at the Glandorf Parish Hall.

These were the words spoken Sunday evening, when St. John the Baptist parish, Glandorf, hosted a special dedication “ribbon pulling” for the parish museum located in the parish hall. Those involved with the development of the museum were part of a ribbon-pulling instead of a ribbon-cutting.

“I wanted to do something different and thought this would be a nice surprise,” said church historian Mike Leach. It has always been his dream that a parish museum would be created. This dream became a reality in the autumn of 2015.

The building of the display cases and historical material inside of them started almost two years ago. The original idea was to have one or two display cases where the lockers were located.

“But Mike Leach then proposed that we have enough artifacts in this parish to fill the hallway,” Fr. Tony Fortman told the guests. “We invited parishioners to bring in any parish artifacts they had, which could be put on display.”

Fr. Fortman said Mike and other members of the parish wanted these parish memories to be seen and understood by the parishioners and passerby people. The display cases were built by Bill Brinkman.

Included in these display cases is the history of the parish, the history of parish’s sisters, brothers, deacons and priests that served here. The cases also include history of past parishioners and staff, history of the men’s and religious communities of the Precious Blood, history on Glandorf elementary and high schools, and history on Glandorf Germany and Glandorf Ohio.

“We need to know our history,” Fr. Fortman said. “We need to know who’s shoulders we are now standing on.” Fr. Fortman said the parish of St. John the Baptist is ‘standing on the shoulders of those who came before us.’

Leach thanked everyone for their cooperation. He gave everyone a homework assignment.

Leach told the grandparents in the audience to tell their stories and family history to their kids and grandkids. He also told the young people to ask their parents and grandparents about their past experiences and family history.

“By sitting down with one another and talking, memories are created and connections are made that can bride time,” Leach told the crowd of nearly 100 people.

Following the dedication ceremony, guests had an opportunity to enjoy the showcases in the hallway plus additional exhibits on tables inside the cafeteria.

A traditional German-style meal of sauerkraut, sausage, mashed potatoes and noodles was then served to the guests. Harp music was provided by Nancy Glick. Guests were also able to purchase the St. John the Baptist Parish Museum Guide written by Michael E. Leach.

“Thank you mike for your willingness to take such an interest in this historic parish” Fr. Fortman said. “Your love of history and church architecture has been a blessing for this parish community.”

If anyone would like a tour of the church and museum or would like to purchase the new St. John's history book, please contact St. John's rectory or Mike Leach.