The New Century Brings Many Passings
Amid the energy and excitement ushering in the 21st Century, many passings have had their effect on St. John the Baptist. After many faithful years of stewardship, Fr. Ed passed on December 23rd of 2000. In his memory, the small stretch of Lincoln Avenue between the school and the church was renamed by the Hammond City Council as honorary Father Homco Way. On a happier note, 2000 also welcomed the 50th anniversary of the new school.

In 2002, St. John saw the departure of another faithful steward, as our third pastor, Fr. Lefko passed in July at the Precious Blood Mother House in Carthegena, Ohio. Also in the theme of passings, the effects of dwindling clergy and resources contributed to hard decisions in the Diocese which led to the closing of Cluster Parish St. Peter & Paul in June, 2003.

SJBHistory_new_deco_32Also passing was the vibrant blue color of the church interior, needed and welcomed in 1981, but showing its age by the turn of the century. That being the case, a new, comprehensive church redecoration effort was conducted again starting in 2003 and completed in 2004.

In stark contrast to many of the projects undertaken in St. John’s history, full effort for redecoration of the inside of the church, from painting, to refinishing of woodwork and pews, to new kneelers and many more aspects of the facility cost more than $600,000. With historic symmetry, the project was similarly placed by Fr. Kalicky under patronage of the Little Flower as Fr. Kostik had done for initial church construction during the depression to equally wonderful results.

At left, St. John the Baptist Church after 2003/2004 redecoration.