Wednesday, August 8, 2012

St. Patrick’s in Heppner

Returning to my goal of presenting the various parishes of the Diocese of Baker, here are some facts and photos for St. Patrick’s in Heppner, Oregon.

According to A Brief History of the Diocese of Baker[1], the first St. Patrick’s Church in Heppner was built in 1887. It looked like this:

St. Patrick's Church Built in 1887

When Fr. Francis McCormack was appointed pastor in 1940, his first project was to raise money to build a new church.  A new site was also selected and purchased in 1941 (for $1000!). The church was completed in November of 1941. The old church was sold and remodeled for the American Legion Hall.

The History also recounts that a new rectory also had to be built, but stumbling blocks were Bishop McGrath’s objections to the high building costs, as well as World War II regulations and the scarcity of building materials. Construction of the rectory had to be postponed, and was not completed until 1948.

St. Patrick's Church Built in 1941

Another new church was built in 1971 - it's the current St. Patrick's.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church

From The Cross in the Middle of Nowhere[2], we learn that in November of 1971, Bishop Thomas J. Connolly

…officiated at the Mass of dedication and blessing of the new St. Patrick’s in Heppner which was built under the direction of Father Raymond Beard. It was the first new construction in the Diocese to reflect the changes in the liturgy of the Mass called for by the Second Vatican Council. Several innovations were combined to present a unique form to the interior. The shorter and broader nave, divided to form a “y”, coupled with the elimination of a communion rail, brought the congregation closer to the sanctuary. (p.253)

Here are a few photos of the interior of the church.

The priest's view
The parish website has a nice history page, featuring the above photos of the exterior of the church. However, it appears that the website has not been updated since November 2011.

St. William's in Ione is a mission of St. Patrick's.
St. William's Church - 1948
St. William's Catholic Church in Ione

[1] A Brief History of the Diocese of Baker, Vol. 1, by Fr. Dominic O’Connor, Benedictine Press, 1930
[2] The Cross in the Middle of Nowhere, by Msgr. William S. Stone, Maverick Publications, 1933

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