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St. Patrick Preservation Update – Fall 2005
Contact Person: Joan Coffey, 262/673-2193
The official celebration for the 150th Anniversary of St. Patrick Church
took place on June 26, 2005 at St. Patrick Church in the Town of Erin,
Wisconsin, with visitors from as far away as California, Arizona, New
York and Ohio and many an Irish name in attendance! The weather couldn’t
have been more perfect. A very special “thank you” goes out to Father
Michael Petrie, Pastor of St. Kilian’s Parish of Hartford and St.
Patrick’s Chapel, who concelebrated a 3 p.m. Mass at our historic church
along with former pastors, Father John Rausch and Father Walter Vogel.
The music provided by the St. Kilian Choir, with Steve Tennies as Cantor
and organist Audrey Rhinehart, were wonderfully—Gaelic, Celtic and
Irish--in melody, lyrics and composer. In addition, Kathleen & Charles
Jeffords brought the chalice of their brother, Father Robert Jeffords,
to use at the anniversary Mass. Father Jeffords, who served at both St.
Kilian and St. Patrick Churches, died of cancer in 1973 at the age of 35
and is buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery. A 5 p.m. buffet dinner catered
by Marty’s of Rubicon and social attended by over 150 people followed
the Mass with St. Patrick Preservation President, John Collins as
Masters of Ceremony. Father Vogel, Father Rausch and the Jeffords and
Weber families shared many wonderful stories. Joan Coffey’s cake
decorating prowess was on display along with many other delicious
desserts provided by the St. Patrick’s Ladies Altar Society. We wish to
extend a big thank you to all St. Patrick Preservation members and St.
Patrick’s Ladies Altar Society members who worked so hard for the past
two years to make this historic day a reality.
The 150th Anniversary History Book of St. Patrick’s Church is still
available for purchase—suggested donation of $30 or $35 if shipping is
required. The 187-page book packed with memorable information and over
250 pictures. To get your copy, please contact Nancy Henke at
262/673-5219 or E-mail Mary Hasslinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As reported in our last newsletter, we are pleased to announce that the
gravestones in need of the most repairs at Old St. Patrick’s Cemetery
have now been reset. PL Gehl finished the work in time for the 150th
celebration. Many people enjoyed walking through this historic cemetery,
which dates back to the early 1850’s. There are many more gravestones
that still need to be repaired. Although money is set aside each year
for this purpose, the work could be completed at a faster pace if more
money was available. If you have a loved one buried at the cemetery and
would like to donate to this cause, please contact Father Michael Petrie
at 262/673-4831, Ext. 401 or E-mail him at email@example.com.
For continued updates on our progress, please visit our web site at
www.savestpatrick.com (check out the pictures from the 150th
celebration) or join us the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at
the Erin Town Hall. Coffee, dessert and catching up with family, friends
and neighbors follow the meeting. The Rosary will be prayed (weather
permitting) from May through October at 6:35 p.m. prior to the meeting
on the steps of St. Patrick’s. If you would like to become a member of
the St. Patrick Preservation Fund, Inc. (reasonably priced at $5/Single
and $10/Family), please contact Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel. We
again thank you for your continued support to preserve an important part
of the history of the Town of Erin.