Where Heaven Meets Earth
No one would believe St. Peter Parish was heading anywhere but down. But God had other plans.
ON ASSIGNMENT investigates how a poor Catholic parish became a thriving and vibrant church again after more than 40 years of steady decline. Originally built in 1886, St. Peter's Church grew into one of the biggest and busiest parishes in Omaha, Nebraska. But in the 1960s, the construction of interstate 480 forced hundreds of parishioners to move away from St. Peter’s.
In the years that followed more and more parishioners moved west to the suburbs, St. Peter’s school closed, and the resulting lack of donations led to years of deferred building maintenance causing the church to fall into disrepair. By the time the new pastor arrived in 2004 no one would believe this parish would survive, but young Father Damien Cook was inspired with an idea that would prove God had other plans for St. Peter's.