Thursday, August 14, 2008

St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Wahoo, NE

I've been holding back on writing about Nebraska's Catholic churches for quite some time. I wanted to wait until I acquired a few history books on the subject before I started writing!

Wahoo lies in the heart of what is known locally as the "Bohemian Alps" - a stretch of Southeastern Nebraska known for it's hills, Bohemians, Catholics, and maybe a little Pivo...

Interest in beginning a Catholic parish in Wahoo can be traced back to 1877, when a local group of Catholics began planning to build a church, named after the patron of their former country, Bohemia.

Construction on the present neo-gothic church began in June of 1920 and was consecrated in September of 1923 by Bishop James Duffy of Grand Island, as the Diocese of Lincoln was without a bishop at the time. Note the cornerstone inscription, written in Czech and English.

The interior of the church has undergone a number of renovations throughout its 85 year history, most notably in the 1970s, which resulted in the removal of the old altars. Compare the two photos, the top being taken recently and the bottom dating from the 1940s. It is rumored that there is interest in acquiring a set of old altars to better compliment the architecture of the church. A complet
e cleaning and restoration of the art-glass windows is currently underway.

A unique capital helps support the choir loft.


EJ said...

This is amazing to see! I happened to be looking for pictures of the church I grew up in as a kid and here it is!

It's amazing to see here! I would have never guessed that anyone outside of Wahoo would have taken an interest.

An interesting fact, my great-great grandfather was a carpenter who help build it. His name was Joseph Vanek.

Chase M. Becker said...

Thanks for the additional information, EJ!

I'm glad you're enjoying what you see!

Keep checking back, as I plan on doing a post on the windows at St. Wenceslaus. They look amazing after their cleaning and restoration!


Anonymous said...

I also grew up in Wahoo Ne, and went to Cathlic school back in 1956. I remember going to church at St Wenceslaus. My Aunt & Uncle lived right next door back in the 1950's & 1960's.
EJ my aunt knew some of the Vaneks, she mentioned when she lived in Prague there was a Vanel that worked at the bank there, but that was many years ago. She is now with the Lord.
I also remember a wooden Bridge that was a overpass on 2nd St 3 blocks West of the Church. I been trying to locate some photos of it but havent had any luck.
All of my family has passed away in Wahoo area, and I have lost contact with the friends I knew back then. If you know where I can find the photos of this bridge, I would be greatly appreciated. You can email me at my email addy which is
May The Lord Bless You All.

Burke69 said...

Here is your update..... St. Wenceslaus recieved a donation and they are going to restore it back to the high altars before 2020.....