Prince of Peace Catholic Church is celebrating its 50th anniversary March 6.
When Diane Siegenthaler-Day first attended Prince of Peace Catholic Church, things were a little different from the massive building off Nova Road Ormond Beach residents have come to know and recognize.
At first, the congregation only had a skating rink. But they still made it feel like home.
"I was 13," she smiled. "And I remember we made stained glass windows out of paper, and really mixed it up. Made it feel
like a little chapel."
Like most of the founding families, Siegenthaler-Day remained loyal to the church for its entire existence, even getting married there.
"This church has always been very, very special," she said.
Prince of Peace Parish was established by decree of the Diocese of St. Augustine in 1966, and services were held in a nearby skating rink until construction of its first church was completed in 1969. The current church was completed in 1991, at which time the original church was converted into a social hall. In 1996, the parish sponsored Prince of Peace Villas, a federally supported senior housing facility located on the parish campus. A new building to house the social service ministry’s Like New Thrift Shop was completed in 2014.
Prince of Peace celebrated its 50th anniversary March 6, with a mass and a pot luck brunch. Mary Penny, another member of one of the founding families, said she remembers everyone being fond of Father Garcia.
"He was unusual," she said. "He was not a man of many words, but when he spoke, it stuck to you."
Since 1985, Prince of Peace's social services ministry has provided food, temporary shelter vouchers, clothing, bus fares, prescriptions, diapers and financial assistance to tens of thousands of poor and homeless people in Ormond Beach, Holly Hill and nearby unincorporated Volusia County. The congregation currently has 2,200 members.