Last updated: August 24. 2013 5:13AM - 102 Views

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CUBA — Fred Verhoff, of Continental, said he really never found a home church after St. Isidore Catholic Church closed in 2005.



“Now I see they have torn it down,” he said Tuesday from his home near the church.



Construction workers were on the site Tuesday taking down the church structure.



“Now there’s something missing in my life,” said Loretta Siebeneck, of Lakeview.



Siebeneck was the first person who was baptized in the parish.



“I wasn’t actually baptized in the church,” she said. “It wasn’t even built yet. I was baptized in the old schoolhouse near the church site.”



The 94-yearold former member said Isidore Verhoff was the first one baptized in the church.



“That is why he was called Isidore,” she said.



She said the church was built when she was only 1 year old.



Siebeneck said she attended the church until she was married in 1938. She received a special invitation for the 2005 closing service.



“I came back to visit the church many times before it closed,” she said.



Fred Verhoff said he attended the church his entire life.



“I’m 83 now,” he said. “I remember going there on Saturday afternoon and attending catechism when I was younger. I still miss going there to church. About the only thing I didn’t do in the church was sing in the choir. That’s because I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”



St. Isidore was one of 17 parishes closed in 2005 by the Toledo Diocese amid a shrinking number of available priests. At the closing service in 2005, the Rev. Scott Kramer described the St. Isidore parish as a small parish but very close-knit and family oriented.



All the pews, altars and a few extras were taken out of the church before it was razed. These items were taken to a church goods distribution center, run by the Rev. Kevin Lutz, of Columbus, to be used by other churches in need of sacred items. The bell and crosses were taken down to be used locally.



The church bell went to the Kalida grade school building.



Verhoff said the St. Isidore statue formerly inside the church is now at St. Michael Catholic Church.



St. Isidore Catholic Church was established in 1915 when the resident pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Continental received the assignment to establish a mission in Cuba. The parish of St. Isidore completed its church building in May 1917. In 1948, care for the Mission of Cuba was transferred to St. Michael Catholic Church in Kalida. The two parishes remained sister parishes until St. Isidore was closed.



Siebeneck said the church was built on the hill to avoid floodwaters.



“It was built only a few years after the flood of 1913,” she said. “I was told they decided to build the church on the hill so it would be high enough no floodwaters would get to it.”



Earlier this year, the Rev. Mark Hoying, priest at nearby St. Michael Catholic Church in Kalida, said there were plans to place a church memorial on the site.



“I really don’t want to come back to see the memorial,” Siebeneck said. “I’d rather leave the church in my memory as it was standing on the hill.”






Final thoughts as church is torn down


Final thoughts as church is torn down


Final thoughts as church is torn down
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