St. Joseph Church hosts ‘topping off’ ceremony

St. Joseph Church recently held a "topping off" ceremony on the construction site of its new multi-purpose building scheduled for completion next July.

Brad Hegeman, president of Nabholz Construction, presided over the event. The beam was also blessed by Father Alfhones Perikala, one of St. Joseph’s associate pastors.

Topping off is a builder’s rite held when the last and highest beam is placed atop a structure during its construction. The beam was painted white so construction workers and parishioners could sign it. There was also a small tree and an American flag attached.

The tradition goes back to ancient times when placing a tree atop a new building was done to appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced by the construction.

Hegeman said the ceremony honored the work of the craftsmen building it and was also a testament to the safety procedures employed in the process.

The beam is locked in place atop the multi-purpose building under construction at St. Joseph Church.