Nearly three years after a Christmas Eve fire heavily damaged an historic church in Calhoun County, worshipers will be able to celebrate services again in the same building this Christmas. St. Mary’s Church in Brussels was nearly destroyed back in 2011, but after renovations was rededicated earlier this week and is again ready to welcome parishioners.
Springfield Diocese Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and former pastor, and now Bishop of Wichita, Carl Kemme, lead the celebration that included the blessing of the building. Insurance and private donations covered the cost of the more than $2-million renovation. A fire during Mass on December 24, 2011, began with a light in the choir loft and quickly spread throughout the building. No one was injured but only the walls to the church built in 1863 were left standing. While Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s once again this Christmas, there are still a few stained glass windows to be installed before the project is complete.