The church before restoration.
The story in the Navajo Times called it “Plaster and Perseverance”. Nineteen years after Fr. Blane Grein and anthropologist Charlotte Frisbie joined forces to restore the old mission church in Chinle, Ariz., the historic stone building was blessed and dedicated on June 2. Both were on hand to celebrate and reminisce, along with parishioners of Our Lady of Fatima, where Blane served as longtime pastor, current Pastor P.J. Pabatao, Bishop James Wall of the Diocese of Gallup, OLG Provincial Minister Jack Clark Robinson, and organizers and volunteers who helped with fund-raising and restoration. Construction of the church, which features woodwork and furniture re-created by OLG’s Bart Wolf, started in 1909. The restored church will be open for tours on a limited basis and for selected special events.