Church celebrates John XXIII Sainthood with name change - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Church celebrates John XXIII Sainthood with name change

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It was a historic day for Catholics Worldwide, two former popes were declared saints in a ceremony featuring Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict.

The ceremony was see as bringing together the conservative and progressive wings of the church.

Here in Toledo, Blessed John the XXIII Catholic Community is undergoing a name change to St. John XXIII Catholic Community and the parish held a faith fest to celebrate.

Pastor Father Herb Weber said, "We have always been proud of Pope John XXIII as our patron because of what he stood for. And we try to imitate his openness, his human qualities, his love of people. Today it's just all being affirmed very much when the world acclaims he is a saint."

Deacon Thom Headly said, "It's just overwhelming joy, overwhelming joy because we have been Blessed John for some seven years and it is a bit of a change to have to deal with, but now the pope we love is Saint John the XXIII."

Director of Lifelong Faith Formation Marla Overholt was up early watching the ceremony in Rome. "I was up this morning about  4 o'clock  and I caught some of the festivities. It's pretty neat, pretty exciting. It's a once in a lifetime event, and that's what we're having here, a once in a lifetime event."

At the faith fest, parishoners remembered how Pope John XXIII summoned the Vatican II Council and pushed for a more modern  Catholicism.

More changes are also on the way at the church. Leaders say they are raising funds to break ground on a new parish church building within the next five years.