Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
February 11, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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February 11, 1990
 

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PAGE 5 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC FEBRUARY I l, 1990 IPI @ FIL B t By Jane Browning At right: St. Francis of Assisi Special to Arkansas Catholic church, undated. (Courtesy Diocesan Around 150 years ago, the spiritual Archives) needs of Catholics in eastern Arkansas Were tended to by visiting Jesuit and Francis of Assisi on Oct. 31, 1957. The yiacentian missionary priests from St. old church was used as a school under LOuis and New Orleans. In 1869, the the direction of the Dominican Sisters i0ming of the railroad opened the area from St. Catherine, KY. 1.ncreased settlement, and Fr. Daniel Over the years, growing enrollment k~uinn of New York was assigned to led to plans for a new school to accom- nal+atSter to the rural Catholics. modate 150 students. Construction n He proposed the building of a church began in 1952, and the school opened rTM the Missouri Pacific depot forthat fall to children in grades kinder- ~uout 20 Catholic families. A small garten through eight. The old school frame building of simple design dedi- became a convent for the sisters, for eated in 1876, it was one of the earliest whom a new, brick convent was built in i rc_hes organized in rorrest City. 1954. a 1878, Fr Eugene Weibel came to Arkansas from Switzerland. A rugged Fr. Aloysius G. Dunleaw/ served as pastor from 1957'63: During this time, 0neer, Fr. Weibel ministered to the stained glass windows were installed inDiscover the i~ counties and helped build more thanl~attered Catholic families in more than the church. In 1967, a Parish Hall was Oppf~r n t" y added to the school, but in 1974 the ! 0~ ChUrches. He brought a communityschool had to be closed due to lack Of : 1,,~0!1reran Benedictine Sisters tofunds and a shortage of teaching sis- March10- 11 a.~aesbro from Switzerland, taught the ters. Sters t speak English, and aidecl them Between 1976 and 1982, the parish / " establishing schools. One of these w~ at Forrest City. purchased a new organ and erected a a ~om 1882-98, Mass was offered once on shrine Aug.t 1,St'1982,FranciS'when But the tragedy Parish struck Hall S,. ~.ath. A new church was beffun 'on burned. The resilient parishioners im- '+' Washington St in 1896. It, too, was mediately began plans for a new hall, afrarae structure, butwas of such sturdy which was completed in December, tStrUcton that it served the parish 1983. aaore than 50 years. In August, 1984, Bishop Andrew J. Your paper is late ? Call Agnes at 664-0340 Joseph Horch became the firstMcDonald appointed Deacon William pastor in 1907. But the church Brock as Administrator of St. Francis of attended from Brinkley from 1917- Assisi parish. Deacon Brock was the first and discontinued its school in 1915. Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of next resident pastor was Fr. Edwin Little Rock. ose tenure lasted close Years. sgr. Hemmen helped the'parish a red brick, Tudor-Gothic style L rch on So. Washington St. featur- interior of dark oak wood with oak beams. Bishop John B. s dedicated the edifice to St. Initially, the people of the parish were shocked and dismayed at not having a resident priest But today, the parish is bigger than ever before. Today, there are 282 parishioners at St. Francis. I:AIR PARK EXXON rn War Memorial Stadium Buren, LR 666-8504 * Road Service l~epalr St Pickup & Delivery .'e * Tires & Batteries APPLIANCES OFURNITURE Harkrider & Second Sts. Conway, AR 72032 327-6523 lOclependent owned stores in Conway & Plorrliton J Hwy 365 Mayflower, AR 470-0721 Tim Benton, P.D. Member of St. Joseph's, Conway "Giving Faulkner County good banking since 1933._" Conway, Arkansas Member FDIC Start or Renew Your Subscription to Our Award Winning Weekly Diocesan Newspaper,,, ARKANSAS CATHOLIC 48 Issues $12.,. Call or Write Today I 664 - 0340 ext. 329, Fax # 664 - 9075 P O Box 7417 Little Rock, AR 72217