By Ardith Rut, St. Patrick Parish
UTICA (SNR) - St. Patrick Parish in Utica will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their church building Oct. 11.
Bishop James D. Conley will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. Oct. 11. Area priests, pioneer members of the parish and guests will join the congregation in giving thanks to God for 100 years of grace and blessings in the Utica community. A catered dinner and a short program will follow the Mass.
Prior to the brick structure, there was a wooden structure that was home to the Catholic families of the community. The wood structure was built in 1882; and when the wood church was around 32 years old, it was decided by the 35 families of the parish to build a new brick church.
In November 1914, the Rev. John J. Murphy and committeemen P. R. Wolff, Peter Hubertus, Anthony L. Buller, and J. W. Ragan drew up a contract with Mont. J. Green of Manhattan, Kansas and H. W. Brinkman, architect of Emporia, Kansas, to build the new church.
Work began March, 1, 1915, on the 36’ x 75’ church and was completed by the fall of 1915. The parish men hauled much of the material from the Utica freight depot to the building site. The corner stone was laid April 15, 1915.
The bell was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Sanley in honor of their daughter, Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. Peter Hubertus). The stained glass windows were donated by Mrs. T. L. Davies, Joseph F. Vrbka, Mrs. Patrick Mullally, Mrs. Thomas McNiff, Joseph and Jake Rohren, Mr. and Mrs. John Heser, James and Mary Kilpatrick, Mr. and Mrs. Anton Rau, Mr. and Mrs. P. R. Wolff, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Spohn, John Spohn and daughter and Elizabeth Orth. The stained glass windows cost $348, installed. The butternut Gothic main altar, two side altars, communion railing, confessional and 30 white oak pews and kneelers cost $1,210 installed. The furnace was purchased from Goodbrod Hardware Store for $237 and was installed by the men of the parish.
The church was completed by Nov. 1, 1915, with a total cost of $10,201.95. There was a debt of $1,500, and it was paid in full in 1916.
The Altar Society along with the Knights of Columbus are carrying out most of the plans for the celebration.
Father Maurice Current is the present pastor of St. Patrick, which is a mission of Sacred Heart Parish in Beaver Crossing, serving about 60 families.