Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 25, 1866Cornerstone of Saint Franziskus Church Is Laid
Yesterday afternoon, the cornerstone of Saint Franziskus(Francis) Church, which is being erected on the corner of Newberry and Twelfth Streets, was laid. An immense crowd assembled at the scene, and when the time appointed for the ceremony arrived, one could see nothing but people on and about the platform.
As we have stated in a previous article, the building will be 66 feet wide and 160 feet long, the steeple will be 150 feet high, and the edifice as a whole will be a credit to our city.
For the convenience of the clergymen, a temporary platform had been built immediately next to the place where the cornerstone was to be laid. At about half-past three, the procession made its appearance. It consisted of several 2Catholic societies carrying their banners and other insignia, and was led by several bands; it took up its position within the foundation of the structure and around the platform. Several Irish-Catholic societies were also represented, and a great many more of their members would have appeared if they had not been misled by statements published in a certain newspaper to believe that their presence was not desired. A large company of school children, boys and girls, the latter wearing white and blue dresses, also marched in the procession under the leadership of their teachers.
It was four o'clock by the time the societies and the school children had taken their positions about the platform. Then Bishop Luehr, who, as we know, came from Fort Wayne, Indiana, made his appearance; he was attended by two assisting clergymen, and made a lengthy address in the English language. He informed the assembly of the purpose and significance of the act which he was about to perform, by comparing the ceremonies of the church with military ceremonies. He pointed out that just as the flag is considered to be a sacred necessity by the soldiers who gather about it, so do the faithful 3gather about the cross, the symbol of the Redeemer. [Translator's note: This badly constructed sentence is a faithful translation of the original.] The Bishop declared that the erection of a church also required certain ceremonies, especially the laying of the cornerstone. He expressed his satisfaction at seeing such a large attendance and invoked divine blessings upon the rites he was about to perform and upon the edifice and the congregation.
Then the stone was lifted to a height of about fifteen feet, lowered, and placed in the correct position; and while the congregation sang hymns, the Bishop placed a tin box which contained various documents, newspapers, etc., into the opening provided for that purpose, sprinkled holy water upon the stone, and dropped the cornerstone into place. The Bishop then addressed the assembly in the German language, thus concluding the festivities.
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