IMMACULATE CONCEPTION , Elm Creek NE
In 1879, ten to twelve Catholic families organized under John Ulrich, started building a church, dedicated to Our Lady, under the title of The Immaculate Conception in Elm Creek, NE.
This structure was later removed to the country, where it stood for 100 years, but due to age, has since been demolished.
In 1907, Fr. Timothy Sullivan was appointed by Bishop Richard Scannell to be the first resident Pastor of Elm Creek. In the fall of 1917 he saw the completion of a new brick church that was built in the Romanesque style.It was quoted to be one of the most stately and beautiful churches in the Platte Valley.
In 1975, the entire interior of the church was redecorated and the altars of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph were renovated to make them a “bit more modern”. (Everything was painted an indescribable pale green – everything)
In 2008, under the leadership of Fr. Jose Chavez, the church was renovated again with the intent of restoring the interior to reflect its original style. Over $180,000 was raised in a two year period that paid off the project in 2010.
HOLY ROSARY CHURCH, Overton NE
Interior of Holy Rosary Church, Summer 2018
The history of the Catholic presence in the Overton area dates back to the 1860’s. Prior to the building of the church, Mass was held in people’s homes, most frequently in the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Bamrick.
Priests to serve us in those early years include Father Ryan, Father Patrick Lynch, Father Hayes, Father Thomas Haley, Father F.E. Clark, Father Thomas Walsh, Father J.J. Flood and Father James Burke.
In 1907, Father J.M. Delboue of Lexington built a frame church in Overton on lots donated by Partick McAleer. Later that sameyear, he was appointed Pastor when Bishop Richard Scannell of Omaha united the mission of Elm Creek and Overton. He served as Pastor until his death in 1922. He was followed by Father John Kavanagh then served as Pastor until his death in 1943.
The original frame church burned down in August 1947. Mass was held in a local hall until a new church could be built
Pastor Father Peter J. Kenny led the rebuilding of the church with its current brick structure. It was completed, dedicated and free of debt before he was transferred to Ogallala, NE on June 30, 1950.
From 1950 to 1974 the parish was served by several Pastors, Fathers Robert O’Neill, Anthony Radziewicz and Vincent Neppl. In 1974, Holy Rosary became a Mission of St, Ann’s in Lexington NE. Fathers Harold Kurtenbach and James Schmitt commuted from Lexington to serve the needs of our parishioners for ten months.
Father Schmitt was then appointed as Pastor at Elm Creek and Holy Rosary once again became a Mission of Immaculate Conception.
From 1981 to 2014, Holy Rosary was served by Fathers Hugh Spanal, Jim warner, Walter Phelan, Monsignor Thomas Siudowski, Fathers Andrew Ganda, Neal Nollette and Mark Maresh and Father Jose Chavez .
Father Alex Borczek is our current Pastor and under his spiritual guidance, our community continues to grow in faith.
ST. JOHN CAPISTRAN, Amherst NE
St. John Capistran was first built in Amherst in 1914. It was a wooden frame church located at the North-end of Main Street. Some of the early priests serving this Mission of Prairie Center to offer Mass and minister to its people were Fathers Aloysius Kampman, Irenaeus Jarka and Francis Tschida.
Some of the early parishioners were Henry Ripp, Anna Wortman, Henry Fuestman, Francis Fisher, Frank Vavra, Joe Bruckner, Philip Kreitzer and the Mart, John, Charles and Jeff Gibbons families.
Later St. John’s became a Mission of St. Patrick’s in Eddyville and Father Paul Moser came to offer Mass twice a month. In 1928, Father Carl Hollie became Pastor of Eddyville and Amherst and served in that capacity until 1933. He was followed by Father James Morning who served for 18 years as Pastor.
In 1951, Father Robert Foster was made Pastor. He was a grand Irish priest who kept everyone on their toes and was loved by everyone. During his six year Pastorate, a building fund for a new church was initiated and several lots were purchased.
To be continued: