NORTH PLATTE (SNR) – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in North Platte will celebrate its 25th anniversary June 7-9.
Bishop James Conley will celebrate Mass Friday, June 7 at 6 p.m., followed by a reception.
Bishop Emeritus Fabian Bruskewitz will celebrate Mass Saturday, June 8 at 5 p.m. A barbecue will follow on the parish grounds until 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the door, $12 for adults and $4 for children age 5-12.
On Sunday, Bishop Bruskewitz will celebrate the 10 a.m. Mass, followed by a brunch in the parish hall.
The Diocese of Lincoln encompasses all of Nebraska south of the Platte River, from the Colorado border on the west to the Iowa border on the east. While most of North Platte is in the Diocese of Grand Island, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish serves Catholics in the area who live south of the river and are members of the Diocese of Lincoln. In January 1970, the Diocese of Lincoln, under the leadership of Bishop Glennon Flavin, bought the approximately 10 acres of land for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Hall, rectory, and the church. The parish was officially created June 13, 1994, by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz.
Father Gary Brethour was the first pastor and also served as pastor of St. James Parish in Curtis, St. Joseph Parish in Farnam and St. William Parish in Wellfleet. Current pastor Father Mark Seiker was appointed to the parish in 2007.
The first Sunday Mass was celebrated Aug. 21, 1994. Sunday Masses were celebrated in the cafeteria of the Mid-Plains Vocational Technical College until the parish hall was built in 1996. The rectory and parish office were built in 2001. Ground was broken for the church in April 2010 and Bishop Bruskewitz dedicated the new church Oct. 2, 2011.
The church was built by CG Architects from North Platte under the direction of Father Jamie Hottovy and Char and Jean Kriz.
“Our primary consideration was for the proper setting for the celebration of the Mass and Sacraments and that it was conducive to prayer,” Father Hottovy said.
The church is a Cruciform design in Romanesque style. The ceiling incorporates a blue color and gold stars to represent the heavenly Jerusalem. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and so the stained-glass windows highlight the mysteries of the rosary.
The windows were obtained from a chapel belonging to Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration (“Pink Sisters”) in Texas. Interspersed between the stained-glass are plaster stations of the cross. They were originally in the second Church of St. Mary “Turkey Creek” near Shickley and were given to the parish by the School Sisters of Christ the King, who received them from a member of St. Mary Parish in Shickley. They were restored and repainted by Eileen Ratigan. The tabernacle was purchased from St. Andrew Parish in Osceola in 1995 and has been re-plated.
The church includes many statues, including one of the patron of the parish, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born American saint. It is in the church vestibule, adjacent to a display of her relics which one can venerate.