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Construction and Dedication of New Church



churchconstructionConstruction of the New Church

In September 1957 construction began on a new $350,000 (that is, an equivalent of 2.86 million dollars in today’s money) church-rectory complex. The building project was dedicated to the Divine Infant of Prague and St. Anthony. The architect for St. Anthony Church also designed the churches in Webster (1957) and Crescent Lake (1955).
The Dedication of the New Church

October 30, 1958, the congregation observed the dedication of it's new church by Bishop Joseph J. Annabring who is pictured at right inserting and sealing in the altar stone relics of St. Stephen, Maria Goretti, St. Dominic Savio, St. Margaret of Cortona, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Two of the assisting ministers were two priests–sons of the parish, Fr. Francis Ebner, O.M.I. and Fr. Francis Madsen, O.F.M.

Before the Second Vatican Council, priests could lawfully celebrate Mass only on a properly consecrated altar. The First class relics of at least two saints, at least one of which had to be a martyr, were inserted in a cavity in the altar which was then sealed, a practice that was meant to recall the use of martyrs’ tombs as places of Eucharistic celebration during the persecutions of the Church in the first through fourth centuries.

“Into the walls are interwoven the labors, the fears, the anxieties, the prayers and the sacrifices of the pastor and his devoted parishioners,” Bishop Annabring said at the dedication. “More goes into a new church than steel and stone,” he added. Bishop Annabring termed the church “a building not only in which the faithful adore God, but a building which adores God in itself.”

The bishop said, the “altar is Christ–the five crosses carved into it remind us of the wounds of Christ–it is annointed with oil as a symbol of the priestly anointing of Christ.” He also said, “the relics of martyrs are placed in the altar to remind us that martyrdom is the greatest act of worship next to the mass.”

The bishop said, the baptismal font is “placed on the an axis with the altar to remind us that baptism destines us for the Eucharist.”

The church and rectory were designed by Robert G. Cerney of Cerney Associates in Minneapolis.

The new church was the first in the diocese to express the spirit and norms of the diocesan building directives issued by the diocesan liturgical commission in 1957. Father William Wenniinger, chairman of the commission wrote, “Discerning visitors will be deeply impressed by the well ordered simplicity and grave dignity of the church of St. Anthony…the church is clean and strong, expressing the spiritual strength and incorruptability of God’s people…disguise, pretense and superficially have been strictly avoided…all this merits for this church the designation as good contemporary church architecture.

A latern located over the altar admitted daylight from a suspended baldachino which was open to the light, and the baptistry was also skylighted and admitted light over a sunken fount.

Front: Mary Lee Jaques, Deann Berg and Sandy Jaques. Back: Fr. Flaherty and Msgr. Kubulbeck

Front: Mary Lee Jaques, Deann Berg and Sandy Jaques. Back: Fr. Flaherty and Msgr. Kubulbeck

First Baptisms in New Church

The first baptisms celebrated in the new church were Michele Theresa Raboin (First Girl) and Stephen Joseph Cieslicki (First Boy). They were performed on December 7, 1958.

First Marriage in New Church

The first Marriage celebrated in the new church was Martinson & Alice Mae LePage on December 27, 1958.


St. Anthony Church received an award
as one of the ten best structures submitted to the judging committee for the fifth annual awards program sponsored by the Minnesota society of Architects.

Father Kubelbeck passed away. Father Louis Nowak was appointed pastor.