OTTAWA — SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Glandorf connected in a very special way Saturday morning. Members of the two parishes each layed a one-mile penny chain from the door of their church to connect at the Ottawa-Glandorf soccer field on Ottawa-Glandorf Road.
The two parishes were teaming up to promote peace.
Since early March, pupils in both parishes have been collecting pennies for the event.
“They were so enthused,” said Glandorf Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher Miss Klausing. “Every day they were bringing in bags of pennies saying 'we have pennies.'”
The idea for the Pennies for Peace began several months ago when various members of the parish were in Columbus and saw a group working to beat the Guinness Book of Records on making a chain. The churches don’t want to set any record. They just wanted to make a difference and promote peace in the community and in the world.
The “Pennies for Peace” event kicked off in March when pupils gathered at SS. Peter and Paul Elementary School to make peace rosaries and learn more about from both parishes the project. Committee members from both churches explained different parts of the project during the program. As they made their peace rosaries the pupils were encouraged to continue to pray for peace.
After a brief service Saturday morning inside each church the pupils and adults went outside as groups to different locations along the path to begin to lay the pennies. A tarp had been laid along the entire length of the path earlier in the morning by volunteer adults and their children.
The path ran down Locust Street in Ottawa to Main Street. It continued along Main Street to O-G Road. The Glandorf link began on Main Street at the church and continued south to O-G Road. Both chains met in the front of the O-G Soccer Field along O-G Road where a service was held as the chain of pennies was completed.
As each parish completed its penny chain they met again at the church and held a procession along the same path as the penny chain.
More than 350 pupils and adults took part in Saturday’s event.
“It went very well,” said Teresa Lanwehr, a member of the “Pennies for Peace” planning committee. “The only glitch may have been timing, but it all worked out.”
As the service concluded volunteers were already collecting the pennies along the path. It was estimated that 85,000 pennies were needed for each mile of the penny chain.
Lanwehr said the pennies will be taken to a local bank to be counted. The pennies will go to support numerous missions including Catholic Charities, Heartbeat of Lima, St. Jude’s, Relay for Life, Thrift Store, Precious Blood Missions, and local families.
“We just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way,” Lanwehr said.
A meal was served in the bus garage on O-G Road after the service.