The first church was a Catholic mission church named “Most Precious Blood.” It was founded in 1872 when a small brick church was built on South Walnut Street at a cost of $3,000. More than two-thirds of this money was contributed by non-Catholics of the town.
About twenty families worshipped at masses celebrated by the Reverend I. G. Selb who was the assistant priest at the Minster parish. The church continued to be served by a circuit riding priest of the Society of the Precious Blood. It had one Sunday mass monthly.
According to one record, the parish ceased to have services about 1895 and many families continued to attend the Minster parish where their children were being educated in the faith.The building was sold around 1907 and became the worship center for what is known today as Faith Alliance Church.
In 1948, Reverend Leo Boeke, a diocesan priest, was appointed to make preparations for the establishment of a permanent parish to be named “Church of the Holy Redeemer.” Initially, a building located on North Main Street was used for worship. Meanwhile, property was purchased at Pearl and Herman Streets. Subsequently, the North Main Street building was relocated to the newly purchased property. Dedication of the new church with a Solemn Mass was on June 27, 1948. The congregation had 100 families and 1050 parishioners. Seating capacity was 200.
Rev. Carl Will oversaw the purchase of the rectory at 21 South Main Street, the purchase of the property on South Eastmoor Drive, the construction of the present church in 1969, and the parish center in 1976. Presently, 2015, Holy Redeemer has 720 registered families and approximately 2200 parishioners.
In 1991, Rev. James Trick added the connector to link the church to the parish center, at which time the entrance of the church was changed.
According to Fr. Will, the 1969 church cost approximately $375,000, including the furnishings. It is situated on a tract of land 9.114 acres. It was 12 months in building – from the groundbreaking onApril 23, 1969 to the consecration of the main altar on May 15, 1970. Architects were Schreiber and Little Associates of Springfield. Thomas and Marker, Bellefontaine, was the general contractor. Seating capacity is 600.
SYMBOLS IN OUR CHURCH
At the time of the consecration of the altar four relics were placed in the stone and sealed. Two were martyrs, Saint Emeritus and Saint Clementia and two confessors St. Charles Borromeo and St. John Vianney.
The carving is of lindenwood from the studio of DeMetz in Ortisei, Italy. The body is 6 ft. tall and the cross is 12 ft. The original body and cross were refurbished in 2018
The art glass windows give a rainbow effect and, while symbolizing Peace, also remind us of the author of Peace who has risen to bring all things unto himself.
A raised speaking stand from which the gospels and epistles are read. The original ambo was donated to the Spiritual Center and is used in the chapel in Montezuma. The new ambo was installed in 2018.
Table in the sanctuary - it is both a sacrificial altar, and a table for a communal meal. The altar of sacrifice is of granite, known as the Rock of Ages, weighs a ton and a quarter and sets on two brick piers.
The deacon's chair (left) and the priest's chair (right) set on the altar and used throughout Mass. The original presider's chairs were dontated to the Spiritual Center and are being used in their Montezuma chapel. The new chairs were installed in 2018
Over 125 yrs old, the inner shell of the tabernacle once was the tabernacle used in the oldest orphanage west of the Alleghenies, St. Joseph’s, Cincinnati, Ohio. The Lamb of God emblem sets in relief on a bronze door panel. The tabernacle was refinished and moved to its place of prominence behind the main alter in 2018. Above the tabernacle can be found a relic of the true cross.
A wax candle (usually made of bees wax) near the tabernacle. It is always lit whenever the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in church as a sign of honor shown to Jesus. Made by Mr. James Wissman of Precision Tool.
The original altar was refurbished for use by Mr. John Hoffman of New Bremen and was in use in the old church. The altar was donated to the Spiritual Center and is being used in the chapel in Montezuma. The daily chapel was converted in 2018 to a prayer chapel devoted to the Divine Mercy, which has a picture of the Divine Mercy and the relic of St. Faustina.
A vessel of precious metal, used for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (consecrated host) for adoration.
An enclosed room in a church divided by a screen or curtain in which the Sacrament of Reconciliation (the confession and forgiveness of sins) is celebrated.
Paschal means of or relating to Passover or Easter. The Paschal Candle, lit at Easter, represents the Light of Christ. It is used throughout the next year.
The window design depicts the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descending and from his head rays of golden light symbolizing the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity that are infused into the soul at Baptism. At the end of the rays is a shell pouring out the living waters of grace.
A basin serving as a receptacle for baptismal water. The candidate for baptism receives the water which is poured over the head of the person being baptized.
Descending Holy Spirit
This cast aluminum symbol by Frank Francois located on the lectern represents the Holy Spirit descending on the people of God through the Sacraments of the Church. It specifically symbolizes the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Fishers of Souls
This cast aluminum symbol by Frank Francois located on the west sacristy door, where the Priest prepares for Mass, depicts the scene where Jesus tells His first disciples that He will make them fishers of all people. The priest continues in that role of fisher of souls.
Lamb of God
This cast aluminum symbol by Frank Francois located on the north sacristy door depicts Jesus as the Lamb, the Lamb that was slain, the true Lamb of God.
The Forgiveness of Sins
This cast aluminum symbol by Frank Francois located on the west confessional depicts the forgiveness of sins conferred by the priest in the name of God, symbolized by the triangle representing the Holy Trinity.
Keys to the Kingdom
This cast aluminum symbol by Frank Francois located on the south confessional represent the keys conferred upon the apostles and their successors to forgive sins. The keys also represent the authority of St. Peter and his successor Popes.
OC/The Oil of Catechumens is used in Baptism, SC/The Sacred Chrism is used at Baptism, Confirmation, and Ordination, OI/The Oil of the Sick is used during the Anointing of the Sick. These holy oils are placed in an ambry which is located near the Baptismal font. The ambry was installed in 2018.
The Communion Plate holds the wheat hosts which are consecrated into the Body of Christ and then distributed to the Faithful at Communion.
The Communion Cup holds the wine which is consecrated into the Blood of Christ and then distributed to the Faithful at Communion.
The cup, usually gold, that holds the wine that becomes the Blood of Jesus at the Consecration
Similar to the chalice but with a lid, for holding the Body of Christ in the Tabernacle
Water Cruet & Washing Bowl
A drop of water is added to the wine which will be consecrated into the Blood of Christ symbolizing humanity reconciled to God through Jesus. The water is also used by the Priest to wash his hands symbolizing the washing away of his sins to more worthily celebrate the Eucharist. Water is also used to purify the chalice and communion cups.
A metal container hung from chains, in which incense is burned during Mass to remind ourselves that our prayers, like the incense, ascend to God. When incense is burned it gives off scented smoke.
Large cross carried at the front of the procession symbolizing Christ leading the procession. A new processional cross was installed in 2018.
Used to announce important parts of the Mass such as the Consecration
A white robe worn by a Mass server.
The Priest's vestments are his outer garment. The color varies according to the feast and liturgical season.
Passed around during Mass for monetary donations.
The Offertory table holds all of the items which will be used in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, including the gifts of bread and wine, the cruets and washing bowl, and the chalice.
Where the people sit and kneel to pray during the Mass
Stations of the Cross
Through meditating on the stations, we develop a greater appreciation of the saving work of Jesus.These are made from lindenwood by DeMetz in Italy.
The apparent floating ceiling seems to be set in the blue of the sky which comes in from the southern upper windows. All of God’s world becomes a part of the sanctuary inviting one to be mindful of our many blessings.
Holy Family statue
On the left near the sanctuary are the beautiful statues of the Holy Family (Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus) brought over from our previous church. The new votive candle for the Holy Family was installed in 2018.
This Paper Mache crucifix hung on the altar in the first Catholic Church in New Bremen between 1872-1893.
The Jesus statue was saved from its use in the first church during 1872-1893.
Water that has been blessed, a reminder of baptism and of the supernatural life of God's grace.
A small metal dish that holds Holy Water that you can dip your hands in before and after church.
Sprinkler & Pot
The Holy Water sprinkler is used to sprinkle the faithful with Holy Water during important liturgical celebrations. It is also used to sprinkle items to be blessed, as well as to sprinkle the casket during Funeral Masses.
A booklet that people can take during Mass that contains the prayers for the Mass, the Sunday readings for the liturgical season, and some seasonal hymns that may be used by the cantor or choir.
This unique icon of the Crucified Christ was created by two local parishioners, Wilber Will and art design by Helene Eilerman. The bright red background with filigree border enhances the sacred image.
Our Lady of Grace
Outside to the right of the chapel we view the Statue of Mary, Our Lady of Grace.
Sacrifice on the Cross
This is Jesus Christ in his priestly vestment reflecting the perfect sacrifice on the cross. The likenesses at each point of the cross symbolize the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The painting depicts St. Charles Borromea and St. Ignatius, donated to the church by Rev. Carl Will. It was given in memory of Archbishop Karl J. Alter to Fr. Will, then the director of St. Joseph Orphanage.
This copper crucifix of Celtic design topped the 1948 church. It was constructed by John Stueve, a charter member of this parish.
Pastors of Holy Redeemer
Rev. Leo Boeke
Rev. Bernard Felix
Rev. William Bushheit
Rev. Carl Will
Rev. William Schwartz
Rev. James Trick
Rev. Daniel Conlon
Ordained Bishop in 2002
Rev. Thomas Mannebach
Rev. Robert Hadden
Rev. Thomas Dorn
Deacon Greg Bornhorst