Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Wynot, NE

Sacred Heart is a relatively simply wood frame church situated in far northern Nebraska. The town of Wynot was expected to become a bustling city following the construction of a railroad roundhouse in roughly 1913. The highest the population ever reached was 416 people in 1940. The current population is 191.

An interesting note on the name "Wynot" according to Perkey's Nebraska Place Names:
"Wynot, a shortened version of 'why not,' was suggested by a citizen who knew an elderly German settler whose answer to all questions was 'Why not?' The boys and girls imitated him and later the older citizens caught their habit."

A verse from Genesis 28:17 greets those entering the church. "Terrible" is rendered in most versions of the Bible as "awesome" or "awe-inspiring," though a quick read of the surrounding passages makes it clear that Jacob was indeed terrified at the time when he uttered this phrase.

The architecture of Sacred Heart is an eclectic mix of neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic elements. The barrel vaulted ceiling and sanctuary arch being Romanesque and the windows and arches over the confessionals being Gothic.

The interior has been renovated tastefully and it still retains much of its original charm.

The window above a confessional cites the story of the prodigal son. "Father I have sinned against heaven and before thee." Luke 15:18

The musical duo St. Cecilia and David the Psalmist adorn the large choir loft window. The medallion at the top of the window indicates that it was donated by the Catholic Order of Foresters.

The rest of the windows in the nave depict various saints. Above is a favorite of mine, St. Isidore the Farmer.

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