The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 20, 2014

Church's prayers answered

JOHNSTOWN — A lot can be accomplished when you put your mind to it.

The congregation of Holy Cross National Catholic Church faced a very difficult decision to make. Its current building was crumbling around them.

Members could continue to pour dollar after dollar into the circa-1920 building or they could try to raise enough money to build a new church.

It wasn’t an easy decision for the 22-family congregation.

“We’re a church whose youngest member is 51 years old,” said the Rev. Paul Zomerfeld, pastor.

But in the end, the members decided they would rather have a new house of worship.

Eight years later, the church board presented the Richland Township planning commission with blueprints for a new church. Last week, the commission gave its tentative blessings to the church’s site plans – an 8,800-square-foot building on a 4.7-acre parcel along Mount Airy Drive.

“It’s a miracle,” Zomerfeld said of his flock’s efforts to raise more than half of the $400,000 needed to build a new worship center.

The members relied on receipts from many, many church festivals, and a lot of the dough came from pierogi sales.

“A lot of people sacrificed their time to make this happen,” the pastor said.

Zomerfeld also is hoping the new digs will boost membership.

“We open our doors to whoever wants to join us, he said.”

Pastors always tell their flocks that prayers will be answered. The congregation of Holy Cross can attest to that.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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