Looking Back: Ground Blessing Ceremony

Sept. 7, 1997, was a day long in the making.

It took years for Corpus Christi University Parish to secure a permanent home. This new land for the parish was celebrated with a ground blessing that Sunday afternoon.

Fr. Jim Bacik, pastor of Corpus Christi at the time, led the ceremony, with Bishop James Hoffman and University of Toledo President Frank Horton by his side.

“We’re calling this a ground blessing rather than a ground breaking to remind us of the importance of the occasion spiritually and religiously,” Fr. Bacik said.

Those in attendance were given branches from nearby pine trees, which were dipped in water blessed by the bishop, to walk around the grounds and bless the 3.6 acres of land.

At the blessing, Fr. Bacik cautioned parishioners against identifying with a building rather than with a community.

“A church,” he said, “is first of all an assembly, a group of people. We are the church.”

During his remarks, Bishop James Hoffman thanked the university.

“They have been so gracious and so helpful,” he said. “We are also grateful to the university for the relationship we had and how much they allowed us to use their facilities over the years.”

Bishop Hoffman would return to Corpus Christi a year later to lead its dedication on Sept. 20, 1998.

Here is a report from local TV station 13abc of the ground blessing:

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