Diocesan News

Farnam celebrates new steeple

Addition changes town’s landscape after 60 years

FARNAM (SNR) – A new steeple has been added to St. Joseph Church in Farnam, after being gone for more than 60 years.

The new steeple was installed June 3, the feast of the Sacred Heart, in preparation for the coming centennial of the parish this fall.

For many years, the parishioners of St. Joseph Church  have desired to add a steeple back on to the church after the original one was removed in the 1950s. Current pastor Father Harlan Waskowiak said the steeple was in bad shape, so it was removed before it damaged the church.

“The church is on the North side of Farnam,” he said, “and the winds are very strong.

When Father Waskowiak was appointed to the parish five years ago, some funds were already set aside for the project. The parish of 11 active families – as well as former parishioners who no longer live in the area – continued to donate funds toward the project.

About three years ago, parishioner Dr. Kent Pieper talked with two faculty members at Mid Plains Community College in North Platte about the steeple. They thought building a new steeple, with its double-pitched roof, would be a great project for the students. Unfortunately, both faculty members left the following year, and the replacement faculty were not as excited about the project.

But the new steeple was eventually completed in 2015. The students used a design taken from a drawing of the original steeple on the church, by parishioner Ann Farr. The drawing she made was done about 10 years ago, using an old postcard of the church with the original steeple. An architect working with the college drew up the plans.

Ann’s husband Stan Farr hauled the completed steeple and cross to Farnam in preparation for the installation.

Mario Felix, a parishioner who does construction, did the necessary preparation to the existing tower and Paulson Construction provided a crane to position the steeple into place.

“Once again,” Father Waskowiak said, “the cross on the steeple will be prominently displayed” throughout the town of nearly 200 residents.

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