Prince of Peace Catholic Church is an accumulation of the Catholic Culture in Jefferson County. We celebrate Mass on Saturday evening and twice on Sunday. The Saturday evening Mass is partially in Spanish.
In 1851, under German hands, the walls were built and the church was put under roof. This magnificent building was dedicated to The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Later it affectionately became known as St. Mary’s Church.
In the beginning, things were not as they are now. This wonderful old church had very humble beginnings. The first six years are described as arduous and meager. In 1865, Fr. Leonard Brandt took the helm and the situation started to improve. Aided by a more generous portion of the congregation, the wooden steps in the front of the church were replaced with stone. A new altar and statues were also procured. Vestments, challises and other church utensils were purchased and donated by various societies.
The house west of the church was purchased for a parsonage in 1858. The steeple was built in 1860, and four bells were suspended in it. The bells were considered to have voices so they were christened and given names. The four foot bell is named St. Joseph, the three foot bell is named St. Ann, the 30 inch bell is named Maria Angela and the 18 inch bell is named Gabriel.
A large tracker pipe organ was purchased in Tiffin, Ohio in 1864. This organ was replaced in 1940 with the current pipe organ. With the changes instituted by Vatican II a second console was added in the late 90’s at the front of the church to allow the organist to play from a position closer to the cantor. The pipes remain in the choir loft at the rear of the church and can be played either from the original console in the loft or the newer console in the front of the church.
In 1888, the walls were frescoed, and new altars and a pulpit were added. The glorious stain glass windows were purchased for, what today seems an incredible price of only $2,578.87. In 1904, new pews replaced the much worn old square pews. And so it went: Electricity, central heat, lights. All of this to make the building what it is today.
The four Parishes of Jefferson County, St. Patrick, St Anthony, St. Mary and St. Michaels were combined in 1993 to form one Catholic Community which we now call Prince of Peace Church.
In 2014 donations were received in order to refurbish the Steeple, as much damage was taking place due to leaks, thus began the campaign “Steeple for the People.” 2.4 million dollars was pledged to do a complete renovation to the building. All plaster was repaired and painted. The stain glass windows were taken apart, cleaned and soldered. Each of the stain glass windows depicts a gospel reading. The carpet was replaced by sanding the original wood floors and carpet added on high traffic areas. All statues, including the Stations of the Cross have been repaired and repainted Sometimes the figures seem as though they are looking at you. A new sound system was added along with new heating and air, replacing the old boiler system.
An indoor restroom and a more private confessional were added to the back of church. At this time, the Sacristies on either side of the Sanctuary are currently being remodeled. A new security system is currently being installed as well.
The high alter has the additions of a new tabernacle, crucifix, St. Michael and at the top St. Gabriel. The Holy Spirit at the top of the sanctuary is a feature that ties together Jesus and Our Heavenly Father.
The Church reflects the heart and soul of our Catholic Community. Stone altar tells of a time when the Priest celebrated the Mass in Latin with his back to the Congregation. The Mass of today is celebrated in English at an original altar with the Priest facing the People.