Last wish leaves a legacy for Quincy parish

If you drive by Blessed Sacrament Church in Quincy, you might see some of the windows boarded up. The church isn’t closed, there was no fire, and it’s not an act of vandalism, but an act of charity.

There’s a reason the parishioners at Blessed Sacrament Church feel blessed. The church just finished a $600,000 renovation to its gathering area.

Next on the list, was replacing it’s stained glass windows.

The problem?

There was no money.

Then the church got word of a bequest by Arlene Middendorf.

“She loved Blessed Sacrament Church,” Mary Ann Middendorf said. Mary Ann Middendorf is Arlene’s sister-in-law.

Arlene left the church $340,000 … more than enough to pay for this project.

“Some of the windows are in pretty bad shape,” Bill Preston with Jacksonville Art Glass said. “If we hadn’t taped some of them together, they would have broken into a hundred pieces.”

“We’re lucky we got to them when we did,” Jeremiah Birdsell another worker with Jacksonville Art Glass said.

“The cost for the entire project is $250,000 to $260,000,” Father Michael Kuse with Blessed Sacrament Church said.

And it’s a pretty detailed process. Crews from Jacksonville Art Glass come to Quincy, take out the windows and drive them back to Jacksonville.

“We take apart each panel piece by piece and we clean every piece. We put them all together it’s such an extensive process,” Jeremiah Birdsell said.

The windows have been in the church since 1892, and Father Michael Kuse says when the project done in May, he hopes it enhances the worship space. Miss Middendorf’s family is happy their loved one is being remembered.

“She deserves to be recognized for this tremendous gift that she’s given and I’m happy she’s getting that recognition,” Mary Ann said.

Mary Ann says Arlene fought a long battle against a brain tumor, but never lost faith in God. That’s why she wanted the money to go to the church. But she wasn’t specific on how the church used the money. It just so happens this project was needed and Father Kuse thought this was the perfect way to honor a long time parishioner.

“Thanks Arlene, you know, you’re giving us something that’s going to live on in your memory for decades,” Father Kuse said.

Arlene Middendorf also left a portion of her estate to Quincy Notre Dame.

By Derek Franke: Thursday, January 23rd 2014


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