St. Patrick's Church of Cedar Rapids holds first service since June 2008 flood - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

St. Patrick's Church of Cedar Rapids holds first service since June 2008 flood

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - As people around the world celebrate one resurrection, the members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church are celebrating two, the second being the rebuilding of their place of worship, which was under several feet of floodwater 10 months ago. 

"It's a phenomenal feeling," said parish member John Krumbholz. He's been a member of the church since he was a child, and was part of the building committee that breathed life back into the historic structure.

Pictures posted in the entryway serve as a reminder of the shock he felt, seeing it for the first time after the flood. "No electricity, mold, the smell," he recalled. "What we have this morning and the joyous occasion we've got, words can't express it."

But he says St. Patrick's wasn't just rebuilt, but restored. Everything below the stained-glass windows lining the sanctuary walls is new, according to Father Philip Thompson.

"Anybody who saw the amount of destruction in here after the flood, can't help but surprised by how it looks today," Thompson said. He called it a challenging process, with most of the work done by volunteers. Metal chairs have replaced pews. But it seems that what the church members sit on, isn't nearly as important as where they're sitting.

"The feeling, the spirit of the people is so wonderful today," said Thompson with a smile. He says it's very special to be back on Easter Sunday, of all days. Choir director Michael Phelan described it as "heartwarming."

 "It's so good to be back at St. Pat's."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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