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St. Anthony Catholic Church celebrates 100 years

By Staff | Sep 9, 2016

St. Anthony Catholic Church in Selz was established 100 years ago, which gives cause for celebration.

This centennial celebration will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10.

It begins with a Mass at 5 p.m. celebrated by Bishop John T. Folda, who shepherds the Fargo Diocese, assisted by the pastor of St. Cecilia and St. Anthony parishes, Fr. Franklin Miller.

A meal of scalloped potatoes and ham and other delectables will follow immediately after Mass. Anyone who would like is welcome to attend the Mass and/or meal. A free will offering will be accepted if participants wish to help defray the cost of the food.

A short program will follow supper with Bishop Folda and Fr. Miller as two of the speakers. Some of the history of the church and readings will be shared by parish members.

Although the parishioners of St. Anthony’s will celebrate the organization of their parish, they will also be celebrating the hardiness and strong will of the German settlers who began the parish.

It was through the generosity of Anton Weigel donating five acres of land and the direction and planning of Fr. Anthony Nussbaumer that began the parish in 1916. It is believed that the patron of the church, St. Anthony, was chosen to remember these two men who spearheaded the establishment. The cost of the original church was $8,000 and it stood until 1959.

During that year, a fire destroyed the church. A new building was erected under the direction of Fr. Ulrich Proeller. It includes an attached meeting hall and kitchen. Parishioners rallied behind this $150,000 structure and paid for it in a timely fashion.

Although the structure has remained basically the same, the interior has been periodically updated inside with the most recent update in 2001-when it was repainted and carpeted.

A number of priests have pastored the faithful people of St. Anthony parish. From the first assigned pastor, Fr. Ambrose Johanns, to current pastor, Fr. Miller, there have been 17 priests who have served the parish of St. Anthony.

Parishioners have come and gone as well, but the last names of some who organized St. Anthony Parish 100 years ago are the same as some who attend Mass there still. The people of St. Anthony in Selz take pride in their church and care for their parish family.

They look forward to celebrating their centennial and sharing their church’s heritage.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 3 edition of the Herald-Press, the official paper of Wells County – Harvey and Fessenden.

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