History

 

  • In 1850, Bishop John Purcell inaugurated a new parish for Reading.martyrs
  • In 1858, Father John C. Albrinck arrived in Reading and became pastor of the Church of the Fourteen Martyrs.
  • In 1858, the Church of the Fourteen Martyrs was destroyed by a tornado.
  • In 1860, a church was built on the same site at a cost of $8200 and was named after the Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul.
  • In 1863, a new school was built at a cost of $3437 to replace the “Stall House.”
  • In 1887, Father Charles Weiderhold came to Sts. Peter and Paul and remained for 50 years as pastor.
  • In 1901, the Golden Jubilee of Sts. Peter and Paul Church was observed.
  • In 1906, work began on a new school at a cost of $32,000.
  • In 1914, a bolt of lightning struck the Church tower. The tower crashed to the ground.
  • In 1914, four new bells were blessed and installed at a cost of $1025.
  • In 1926, the dedication took place of the new auditorium at $135,000.
  • In 1927, the Diamond Jubilee took place with extensive renovations of the Church floor and walls, altars and statues; the ceiling was frescoed, and new furniture was added to the sanctuary for a grand total of $25,000.
  • In 1934, Fr. Henry Scheffer was instrumental in getting use of the “Greenfield” from the John Mueller Family.
  • In 1937, Fr. Weiderhold died at the age of 84.
  • In 1937, Fr. Henry T. Lammers arrived and he started Bingo, which made $1500 per week.
  • In 1939, the new rectory was built and the second floor rooms were added to the auditorium.
  • In 1950, the Centennial of the Parish took place with renovating of the electrified bell system for $2000.church
  • In 1959, the new school was built and paid for with “Bingo” money.
  • In1959, the “Greenfield” was purchased from the Herbert Mueller Family to assure ample parking and playground for the parish.
  • In 1963, Father Lammers died.
  • In 1963, Father Richard Kennedy arrived as pastor.
  • In 1965, Father Kennedy broke ground for the new convent.
  • In 1966, Father Kennedy called the first Parish Council meeting. New ventures were begun with monthly missalettes, Fall Festival, and the roof of the school was repaired.
  • In 1971, after 50 years of free schooling, the expenses caused us to charge tuition.
  • In 1974, Father Kennedy retired.
  • In 1974, Father Joseph Andres arrived as pastor.
  • In 1976, the celebration of 125 years took place with Archbishop Pilarczyk leading the Mass.
  • In 1983, Father Neil Keller arrived as pastor. During Father Keller’s pastorate, air conditioning was installed in the Church as well as restrooms and the marriage ministry began.
  • In 1988, Fr. Paul L. Stolz arrived. During his years the church was repainted and through his skills the parish remained in good financial standing.
  • In 1997, Fr. Stolz suffered a stroke and was replaced by Fr. Jim Willig.
  • In 1999, Father Jim Willig was diagnosed with cancer and an outdoor Mass was celebrated with 2000 people attending.
  • In preparation for the sesquicentennial celebration the Church was repainted, devotional areas were created in the space of the old confessionals, the Holy Spirit window was put in place, and new carpeting throughout the Church was purchased.
  • On July 14, 2000, a great celebration of 150 years of Grace took place.
  • On May 25, 2001, at the closing Mass of the anniversary, Bishop Carl Moeddel blessed our newly built altar, ambo, and presider chair.
  • Father Jim Willig died on June 24, 2001.
  • On November 6, 2011, Fr. Mike Leshney arrived. Under Father Mike, the convent was converted into the Parish Office and Center and is called Notre Dame Hall. The restrooms in the Church were made handicapped accessible, a new sound system throughout the Church was purchased, new hymnals were bought, the music ministry program expanded, the liturgical schedule for weekdays and Sundays expanded, and an Educational Fund for the parish school began. And lastly, the “Christ Renews His Parish” spiritual formation program was inaugurated with great success.
  • On April 24, 2004, Archbishop Pilarczyk ordained parishioner Tom Lynd, after five years of study and preparation, a deacon. Rev. Mr. Tom Lynd is the first deacon for Sts. Peter & Paul in our history.