St. Gabriel Fund Helps Church

For local resident James Pflum, St. Gabriel Catholic Church has been a focal point in his life for many a year.

Whether it was events he attended at the church with his wife, Ruth, or just the church itself, James Pflum has a deep love for St. Gabe’s, and in 1998, he decided to show that love.

Pflum, with the help of the Fayette County Foundation, created the James and Ruth Pflum St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church endowment in 1998, partly in memory of his late wife and partly because of his love for the church.

In honor of all of the wonderful events that mean so much to James Pflum, he created an endowment to support the place many of those events took place, St. Gabriel Catholic Church,” said FCF Executive Director Anna Dungan.

The church, of course, has been a focal point of faith for many generations of Fayette County residents for 166 years, since groundwork on the church began in 1851.

By October 1851, the church had 123,000 bricks laid at its original location on the west side of Eastern Avenue and north of 11th Street – those bricks courtesy of probably the first “endowment” the church would experience, a donation from Abraham B. Conwell.

The church changed locations, at the behest of Father Peters, who is credited with not only building the first St. Gabriel School, but planning the new church. The current St. Gabriel’s was dedicated on June 15, 1884 by Bishop de St. Pablias, and has stood proudly in its location on West 9th Street ever since.

A good reason the church is able to stand so proudly is due to the generosity of those such as Pflum, and the late William Henry, who in his will specified that an endowment be created with the FCF in memory of his mother, Frances Joas Henry.

 That endowment was created after Henry’s passing in 1979, and teamed with the endowment created by Pflum, combined to provide St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church with $4,773.80 in endowment funds in 2017.

And, allow for the church to continue to provide such wonderful memories as it has for Pflum and scores of others throughout the community.

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