ger/apr 8 harper catholic anniversary
Preparations are under way to celebrate 100 years of history at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Harper, TX. The celebration will be held June 12 -14, 2009.
The centennial committee, chaired by Joan Lennon, and staffed by many parishioners has met regularly for months to make the upcoming commemorative occasion memorable. Events planned for the momentous anniversary include worship, music, and games for both children and adults, and of course, food.
Just part of the preparation is the landscaping and improvement of the church grounds. The massive effort will not only assure the attractiveness of the grounds for the Centennial celebration, but will be an enduring contribution to the parish far into its future.
The beautiful results are the work of the men of the parish. Moving in heavy equipment with a crew from his construction company, Edmund Jenschke has been landscaping the parish hall grounds. Huge limestone blocks, quarried from parishioner Al and Janet Weinzierl’s homesite, are an integral part of the design. An inspiring meditation garden is the focal point.
At the rear of the church, the touchingly beautiful statue of Michelangelo’s “Pieta” has been restored with loving care. Inside the church, renovations and repairs have been made.
Judy Lange has written an inspiring and detailed parish history. Erin Worrell, production coordinator, has compiled the history and photos into a Centennial book. Historic photos enhance the story of early settlers, determined to build St. Anthony Church with pride and dedication. Many of their descendants are part of the parish today.
An excerpt from the centennial book describes the genesis of the church.
“On St. Patrick’s Day, 1908, when a Catholic service was offered for the first time in Harper, seven Catholic families gathered at the home of the Jacob Fiedler family. The faithful used an ordinary table and covered it with a white cloth to serve as an altar. On the altar they placed one glass candlestick, along with a second candlestick that they improvised from a bottle. A crucifix and two holy pictures completed the altar setting.”
Artist Pat Sreenan has beautifully depicted both the original church and St. Anthony Church today in pen and ink.