St. Mary's Cathedral
Early Newspaper Clippings
Grand Island Times, January 15, 1880
There will be a festival at Liederkranz Hall on Wednesday evening, January 21st, under the auspices of the Catholic congregation of this city, to which everybody is cordially invited. The proceeds are to be used toward discharging the debt incurred in building the Catholic parsonage. The members of the committee of arrangements are James Cleary, P. Dunphy, and P. Schlessinger.
Grand Island Times, June 2, 1881
The members of the Catholic Church of Grand Island will have an excursion to Wood River grove on next 4th of July, where they will be joined by the Irish of Wood River. They will be most happy to see all their friends, social and political, on hand on the occasion. Programmes of the day's festivities will be issued in due time.
Grand Island Times, October 6, 1881
On Sunday last, [October 2], Rt. Rev. Bishop O'Connor of Omaha, for the first time in the history of the Grand Island Catholic church, administered the sacrament of confirmation to a large and well prepared number of children. On Monday, the same ceremony took place at Wood River, ...105 persons were confirmed. The Bishop preached at noon and in the evening at Grand Island...He is a clear, forcible speaker, using well selected language, which he delivers in a manner that at once proves him to be a highly cultivated scholar...the Bishop gave the Pontifical blessing not only to the children and their parents, but to the city at large; and prayed that union, harmony and peace should every day grow stronger amongst a people who, that day, had given evidence of their practice of civil and religious liberty, a fact proved by the large number of gentlemen, not only Catholics, but every denomination in the city, who met the Bishop at the hospitable table of the scholarly and gifted pastor, [Father Phelan].
Grand Island Times, November 10, 1881
Being deputized by our revered [sic] Bishop to visit and report on the scattered Catholic colonies of Dawson and Custer counties, is my apology for not having sooner given public expression of my heartfelt gratitude to the citizens of Grand Island for their large and truly generous patronage during our fair; to the donors of articles; to the ladies who arranged and presided at the different tables with such tact and success; and, though last, not least, to the city press. Pardon a little egotims. During my missionary life I have received many and substantial testimonials of the esteem and affection of those among whom I lived, but I must confess that on none do I place as high a value as that of which I was the recipient on my return home last Saturday. For it I am extremely grateful, and of it I am exceedingly proud.
Richard Phelan/Catholic Pastor
Daily Independent, August 23, 1887
"New Catholic Church"
Plans are now being prepared for the new Catholic church, to be erected at once in this city. The structure is to cost from $12,000 to $20,000 and is to be the finest church edifice in Central Nebraska, and ornament to the city and a credit to the members of this diocese. It will be erected on the beautiful lots recently purchased on west First Street, in as sightly a location as there is in the city. Most of the money for its construction has already been provided for, and hence it will be wholly paid for as built. It will be of brick and stone, and will prove the pride of the west end.
Daily Independent, June 12, 1888
The new Catholic church is to be built of brick and stone, and will be 44x119 feet with two towers each 104 feet high. The edifice is to have a fine stone basement, and stone trimming, and will cost about $20,000. Plans have all been completed, and if satisfactory bids are received, the contract for the immediate construction of the building will be let Saturday, June 23rd, as per notice for proposals published elsewhere in this issue. It will be one of the finest and handsomest and best church buildings in the west and a credit to our city.
Daily Independent, June 18, 1888
The literary and musical entertainment under the auspices of the ladies of the Altar Society of the Catholic church will be given next Friday evening, June 22, at G.A.R. Hall. Proceeds for the new church. Excellent talent has volunteered and a good programme has been arranged. Everybody cordially invited. Ice cream and cake will be served after the entertainment.
Daily Independent, August 29, 1888
The ladies of the Catholic church will give a series of entertainments for their church, the first of which will be given at the home of P. Dunphy tomorrow evening, when supper will be served from 5 to 8 o'clock. A cordial invitation is extended to all.
Daily Independent, October 17, 1888
The ladies of the Catholic church will hold a Fair at Bartenbach's Opera House, Tuesday-Friday, for the benefit of the new Catholic church. Everybody is kindly invited to attend and assist in the good work.
Daily Independent, November 2, 1888
All are urgently asked to attend the Fair for the new Catholic church, and thus assist in erecting a building, that will be an ornament to the city.
Daily Independent, December 5, 1888
The grandest of all [of the new church buildings] is the Catholic church, built of brick. It is by far the largest, and the entrance front, with its vestibule consisting of three arches leading to the church door, and with its two towers, whose lofty spires of equal height overtop all the others, is really imposing.