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The campaign to renovate St. Joseph Church

A love story born at St. Joseph

St. Joseph Church is 'instrumental in our love story'

At nearly 150 years old, St. Joseph Parish is blessed with more multi-generational families than most. Families that pray together, stay together, right? For Brady and Abby Dowell Lowther, the union of their families here at St. Joseph has just produced the first baby of their families' fourth generation with their son, Charles Brian Lowther.

Abby and Brady's First Communion at St. Joe.

Abby and Brady, both now 25, met in kindergarten at St. Joseph Grade School, where three of their parents attended. They received all their sacraments together in school and graduated 8th grade in 2006. "The funny thing is we never had much interaction when we were little, but began dating our senior year of high school," says Brady.

They dated for four years, even while attending different colleges. They began their careers -- Abby as a registered nurse, and Brady as an account specialist for a digital marketing firm.

A self-described "showman," Brady decided that "a simple proposal simply would not do." He hatched his plan after remembering that "St. Joseph was what had brought us together in the first place. I knew I had to involve the church somehow, and came up with a scheme that I knew was a long shot."

One day, I called the St. Joseph Parish office to toss up my 'Hail Mary' and see what happened. I gave them a quick summary of Abby's and my relationship, and told them that I wanted to propose to her in the church. As soon as I asked I realized how foolish it sounded, but was surprised to hear them say they loved the idea. They instructed me to come pick up the keys to the church the next day, and showed me how to lock/unlock the building. The whole time I could only think “There’s no way this is actually happening!”

"I set my plan in motion on a chilly mid-February Saturday. I laid clues out for a scavenger hunt to places around town that held special significance to us (first date, first kiss, etc.) with the final destination being the church. I waited inside an empty church, and could only think about how much this place meant to me. When she finally arrived, I mustered up all my courage and popped the question: “Will you marry me?”

"Through tears of happiness she said yes, and holding her in my arms in that empty church was the happiest moment of my life. Everything went off without a hitch, and Abby loved the touch of asking her to marry me inside the church (in the exact spot I first asked her to lunch after 10:30 Mass). To both of us, St. Joseph Church is the place that has allowed our paths to cross and allowed our love to bloom. It was the place both of us were baptized, received our First Communion, got engaged, and ultimately were married in 2015."

Soon they will baptize their new son, Charlie, who was born on November 5, 2016. Brady looks forward to the renovations of the church. "Besides having an improved building to worship in, this will bring more families to the parish," Brady explains. "It will help bring St. Joe into the 21st century, while retaining its 'old school' charm. It's important to bring new parishioners into the Church, and this will be a perfect way to grab folks' attention."

Brady's favorite part of the renovations is an unlikely one. "I know it sounds crazy for me (a guy) to say, but I'm pretty pumped up for a bride's room! Abby was pretty packed into the cry room with all her stuff and friends and family. I'm happy that future brides will have a more spacious area to prepare for their big day."

"St. Joseph Church has always been a special part of our story, which is why we will be St. Joe parishioners for life. No other place has been so instrumental in our love story, and has brought us closer together. From asking her out to lunch for the first time after 10:30 Mass, to repeating the words “I do” on the altar, this will always be the place we come to worship God," Brady says.

Learn more about the bride's room improvements

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Donor Journey