Wednesday, November 23, 2011

St. Patrick Catholic Church, Battle Creek, NE

(Image Source)

The first sacraments were celebrated regularly in Battle Creek, Nebraska in the fall of 1872, when Bishop O'Gorman of Omaha asked Father J. M. Ryan of Columbus to care for area Catholics. In 1873, Father Bedard of Ewing began to frequently visit the area. Under his supervision, a wood frame church was constructed in 1875 at the location of the current parish cemetery.

In 1885, a new wood frame church was constructed in the town of Battle Creek. The current brick church was built in 1903 and a resident priest assigned in 1907 after a rectory was built. For a more detailed history of St. Patrick's parish, visit this site.

The design of the current church is an example of highly restrained Romanesque Revival architecture. Judging by the historic photo above and the variation in the brick types, it appears that the church's tower was rebuilt at some point. I would assume that the bell was also removed at the same time. The inscription on the bell reads:

Henry Stuckstede
Bell Fdy Co
St. Louis MO
Saint Anne
Pray for Us
Fr. Thomas Walsh, Pastor

The interior of the church is very simple and plain, much like the exterior. It appears that a number of modifications have taken place over the years - an acoustical tile ceiling (popular in the 1950s) and a sanctuary renovation, probably from the late 1970s.

While the overall feel of the space is utterly simple, it is quite pleasant. The large crucifix and altar visually emphasize the importance of the Eucharist as celebrated in this space.

The church windows are executed in two distinct styles, both bearing various ecclesiastical symbols near the top. Half of the windows, like the one above reflect a more flowing, Victorian-style sensibility...

... while the other half of the windows feature a more simple, Gothic-influenced design.

No comments: