St. Rose Church gets new steeple, cross after lightning strike - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

St. Rose Church gets new steeple, cross after lightning strike

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PERRYSBURG, OH - Seven months after lightning strikes the steeple of a more than 100-year-old Perrysburg church igniting a fire, construction crews have finished rebuilding.

This was an emotional day for neighbors and parishioners.

 Lightning hit St. Rose Catholic Church just before Easter Sunday during Holy Week causing approximately $200,000 in damage.

Now in time for Advent and Christmas, the church has a new beginning.

The crane first lifts the new 30 foot copper steeple, making the long journey to the top of the historic St. Rose Catholic Church.

"It's a pretty neat thing to watch this happen," says Harvey Crocker who lives across the street from St. Rose Church.

Crocker and his wife watch the steeple soaring from their front porch. It's the same place they watched the cross fall before Easter when lightning struck.

"It was a shame to see it get hit like that, but we're glad it's back together and they get the church back, the steeple's back up, Christmas is coming, it's a wonderful time of year," says Crocker.

Dozens of neighbors and parishioners waited for the moment when the crane began to raise the new cross.  The cross was coated in protective plastic for the move.

"It's about six feet tall and it's gold-plated, 24 carat gold. It's absolutely beautiful," says Fr. Jerry Schetter, Associate Pastor at St. Rose Catholic Church.

"This is just putting the puzzle back together," says Jodi Artiaga-Pfaff, a parishioner who also works at the church.

Artiaga-Pfaff takes it all in in tears as construction crews delicately place the cross on top of the new steeple standing 180 feet high.

 "I'm very pleased," says Hal Munger, architect of the church repair project. "It's beautiful up there with the blue sky. It was done safely. It should last a good number of decades now.  Hundreds of years hopefully."

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