Archive for the ‘Building & Grounds’ Category

Construction of the Church Building

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James Bardon donated land to the diocese for the site of the new church on block 45 of East Third Street and block 46 on East Fourth Street. Bardon (for whom Spirit Mountain’s Bardon’s Peak is named), was a pioneer of Superior. He had a illustrious career as an elected official, real estate agent, co–owner of a shingle mill, and the editor/publisher of Superior Times. Moreover, Bardon brought the Northern Pacific to Superior in 1881.

Fr. Rudolph wasted no time petitioning the city council for sidewalk and street improvements. Determined to begin construction, he gave the go ahead in mid July 1914 to Rene Lagae, an Allouez builder, confident that the parish would raise the necessary $4,200.

A 40 x 80 feet wood frame building with a full basement typical of early 20th century churches was built on the property. It featured a steeply pitched gable roof, a central steeple, pointed arch windows, and shiplap siding.

While the church was being built, Fr. Hanssens offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in parishioner’s homes. The first Mass was held in May 1914 with Emil Want as his first server. Soon other boys including, Archie and Maurice Jacques, and Alfred Cole joined him. Fr. Rudolph also celebrated Mass in the O’Brien home in Itasca.

That summer, Fr. Hanssens and the congregation gathered in the Woodmen Hall on Sundays for Mass as their new church was nearing completion.

Generating Needed Building Funds

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In January 1923, Father Kubelbeck introduced the envelope system of raising money for church expenses. Since the parish had not yet built a rectory for their priest, this helped raise $8,000 to make this happen. In December, with Father Kubelbeck moving into a permanent residence, now only the school needed to be built to which the congregation now numbering about 400 unanimously gave its consent. The cost of building it, however, would require $45,000 ($429,000 in today’s dollars).

Needed Renovations and Maintenance

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In 1928-29 the indefatigable Father Kubelebek once again took up the task of beautifying the interior and exterior of the church, as well as, making needed expansions. The old carpet was replaced by a beautifully varnished floor. The heating system of the school was connected with the church at the same time.


During the fall of 1931 the outside of the church was painted a silver gray. In the school hall, a stage was also built. In 1931, a pipe organ was installed in the church.


In 1934, a new garage began to be built, and repairs were made to the school roof. Because of a broken pipe, a new water line had to be laid the school building in November, 1935. The church was shingled, painted, and again kalsomined during the summer of 1937. At this time the rectory, was also painted. In the Sister’s living quarters, a gas range replaced the coal range.

Explosion and Fire

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A fire on December 9, 1937 caused by an explosion of a watthour meter in the altar boys’ sacristy slightly damaged the walls and floor, burning thirteen cassocks and six surplices. All damages were paid by insurance.

Renovation of the Rectory

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The post World War II baby boom saw an increase in families with young children as parishioners at Ss. Anthony and Margaret. The Parish was growing so rapidly that in order for Father Kubelbeck to satisfactorily administer to the needs of 275 families, he needed an assistant priest to help him.

In order for the rectory to have suitable accommodations for priest assistants, and realizing that it required substantial repairs and modernization, Father Kubelbeck turned to the parish for support in undertaking the most extensive renovation project in St. Anthony and Margaret history to that date.

A living quarters for the new assistant was added, as well as, a new parish office. The entire rectory ended up being remodeled both inside and outside (e.g. brick veneer) at the cost of $22,000 ($210,000 in today’s dollars).

Improvements to the church’s interior and exterior were also made.

Plans to Build a New Church and Rectory

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Original Church Building Showing Signs of Age

By the mid 50’s the parish had “outgrown” its first church building. Although the parishioners were very fond of their church, Monsignor Kubelbeck referred to it as “outdated.” Over the years, it had received several renovations, and any further attempts to “modernize” it, according to the pastor, were “futile.” In fact, “the cost of keeping it in proper repair [became] excessive to the point of being wasteful.”
Emerging Need for Moving Convent

Although the school building was sufficient for the needs of educating the children of the parish, Monsignor Kubelbeck did not see the the living arrangements of the sisters as being good. In the school a lack of space for the sisters was a concern. It was also not ideal that they live and work in the same building. “This has, indeed, been a continued hardship,” said Monsignor to the parishioners in a letter. “Those who devote themselves to the confining task of teaching surely deserve to reside away from the scene of their labors.”
Plans to Build a New Church and Rectory

Monsignor Kubelbeck’s solution to the housing problem which the parish was facing was to construct a new Church which would have attached to it a new rectory. The school sisters, therefore, could move into the old rectory.

Monsignor had another reason for building a new church. He wanted a worship space which the parish could “be proud in the light of the present day, modern concepts of Catholic worship.”
Appeal to Parishioners for Funds

In Monsignor Kubelbeck’s letter to parishioners he stated, “The task is not one for a select few…rather, for all of us. Each member of our Parish family must work hard, for we know of no “easy way” to accomplish our purpose. Each of us must pray hard. We cannot complete our program without HIS help. Finally, we much each give generously and sacrificially in order that our objective may be attained in a manner which will make us proud of each other, and which will complement God’s cause. Pray, work, sacrifice…for a “Full Catholic Life in Allouea and Itasca” has been adopted as our theme.”

Construction and Dedication of New Church

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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.