Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 27, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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October 27, 1991

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PAGE 6 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC OCTOBER Z7, 1991 " 1? III II II 1? II @ I IX By Sr. Eugenia Pellin, RSM One of Eastern Arkansas' recently created parishes, St. Michael's in West Memphis, was a mission station first at- tached to Osceola and later to Blytheville. In September, 1934, it was assigned as a mission of St. Peter's in W)aane. Until some Eastern European plantation workers seek- ing a healthier climate came from Memphis, there were only four or five adult Catholics li ng in West Memphis. Italian families living in nearby Marion were attending Mass in Crawfords~ille before St. Michael's church was completed in 1936 and a pastor was ap- pointed. During his first }'ear as pastor of St. Michael's, Ft. Francis Prendergast resided at the Catholic Club in Memphis while sa}~ng Mass in the home of Mrs. P. E. Cuonzo in West Memphis. The first parish church with priests' quar- ters was erected on land, measuring 200 x tween 1940 and 1950, when Fr. Louis Janesko served as pastor of St. Michael's thriving parish. As a result of the zoning, all of Crittenden County and that part of St. Francis County east of Shell Lake was included in St. Michael's parish. A new heating plant and other improvements in the parish were made in 1944, and a new rectory was built on !,1ilII~iI::'!:=1i!::=i~~=ii!~!i i !i : i i! :~ ! ! !iii!ilii: 200 feet that had been purchased, and Mass ........ ,~as celebrated in the new building on June 6, 1936. A combination school and convent, adja- cent to the church, was made possible the following year by Bishop John B. Morris in a generous grant from the Catholic Omrch Extension Society. With no other school in West Memphis at the time, St. Michael's was opened in September, 1937, by the Domini- can Sisters of St. Catherine in Kentucky. Parish lines were being established in the diocese be- St. Michael church and school, undated. made possible in part by a legacy from the Bkscli Estate, and donations of parishioners as well as from Catholic and non- Catholic businessmen in West Memphis. Due to the decrease in the number of pupils attending St. Michael's Parochial School in 1952, and the difficulty in maintaining a school, the Dominican Sisters withdrew from West Memphis. For the next two years, arrangements were made to transport the children to a Catholic school in Memphis. In response to Bishop Albert L. Fletcher's request in 1954, the Olivetan Benedictine Sis- ters from Jonesboro re-opened St. Michael's . with 70 students in attendance. The school continues with a lay prindpal as a pre-K through sixth grade school. ArchNes At the end of Fr. Edward J. McCormick's nine-year pastorate, the present St. Michael's Church was dedicated in November, 1959. Building and expansion continued in the following years with a new school in 1964, a parish hall in 1977, and new rectory in 1987. The parish witnessed the ordination of one of its members, Fr.Jon McDougal, in May of 1979. Caring for others was not forgotten. Fr. Don Althoff, pastor in 1987, headed the interfaith efforts to assist those devastated by the tornado in December 1987. the church properly to better accommodate the pastor and his assistant who were attending some of the surrounding Today the pastor of the 450 Catholic households of St. missions. This asbestos frame building with six rooms and Michael's is Fr. Gregory Hart. two baths, built in 1951 and blessed in March, 1952, was (Sr. Eugenia Pellin, RSM, writes from Liale RxA) Iqne ultimate fun fundraiser for _ _=. youth groups... ONe investment 0 Fast OEasy II oNe left over inventory j' oProfitable oYou ore-sell the orders OCan produce over 100 pizzas per hour 0 We will come to your church or school and help your group prepare fresh pizza OYoudeliver oAvailableanywhereinArkansas 21l"4111 1030 Front Street Caaway, AR 72032 Is pregnancy, a problem for you? Let us help you consider y6ur options... Catholic Adoption Services Sponsored by the Diocese of Little Rock Call us collect. 664-0340 2415 North Tyler Little Rock, AR 72207 ,/Free confidential pregnancy counseling ,/You help select adoptive parents ,/Licensed adoption agency for over seven years Offering a loving choice for uamum with problem pregnancies # ::::i+i~ ::? !~ ::=i!:ii~ 4 Regina Kendrick of Bigelow won this year's Knights of Columbus First Baby contest. She received a $100 savings bond from State K of C Deputy Bob Loeb (center) and a $25 bond from Bigelow Council #6680 Grand Knight Roland Kaye. Kendrick gave birth to a daughter, Jennifer Latrice, 45 minutes after midnight on Columbus Day. Not pictured is Jennifer's father, Gary Miller. The Cathofc Press, if it reached every Catholic home and was actually read week after week, would render a more important service than the Catholic pulpit in these days, because problems with which the Church must contend in the political, social and economic fields cannot adequately be treated from the pulpit. The Catholic press studiously analyzes and interprets these problems in the light of Catholic teaching and principles, and carries the correct answers into the home. The Catholic press, therefore, supplies a post-school course in religion, morality, sociology and apologetics, mid becomes a real "missionary hi the family." J.F. Noll Bishop of Fort Wayne (From Sink or S~im, BX Rev. Peter MLH. ~ Hope Haver Press, Marmo, LA 1939.)