Walsh County, North Dakota
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SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE CATHOLIC CHURCH — rural Pisek, ND

“Walsh Heritage, Vol 2, pg 647

     The first Czech and Moravian settlers arrived in Dakota Territory in 1881 with covered wagons from Iowa. The first school house was built in 1882. It was in this school house that the first Holy Sacrifice was offered up in May, 1884, by Father F.X. Sulak, a Jesuit Missionary born in Bohemia. In 1886, Pisek became a mission and organized a parish. There were 16 parishioners. John F. Lovcik donated seven acres of land upon which a church 26 feet by 40 feet was built for $800. Matthew Vlasek erected the first church.

Charter members of the church were:

Kadlovec, Anton

Kostohris, John

Lovcik, Venceslaus

Malinovsky, Simon

Maresh, John

Rumreich, Frank P.

Schnedar, Anton

Vavrik, Anton

Velek, Venceslaus

Vislisel, Joseph

Zikmund, Venceslaus

 

The first officers of the church were:

Frank P. Rumreich, chairman

John Kostohris, secretary

Anton Schnedar, treasurer

 

     The parish grew to 40 families. In 1887 the church was blessed by Bishop Martin on the feast of St. John Nepomucene May 16, therefore St. John Nepomucene was chosen as the church patron. The Moravians hoped that St. Cyril and Methodius would have been chosen as those two Patrons brought faith to Moravia, but there were more Czech and John’s, so St. John Nepomucene was chosen. Shortly after a beautiful painting by Alphonse Mucha of Moravia was sent to his relatives at Pisek. This famous painting still hangs in the church.

     On July 5, 1887, feast of St. Cyril, Methodius Monsignor Joseph Hessoun, a Missouri Priest, visited our parish and conducted services. From 1886 to 1890 Rev. Vaclav Dvorak from Wahpeton served mass once a month. Rev. Thomas Rabsteinek came to offer mass from 1890 to 1897.

     The growth of the congregation necessitated the erection of a new church in 1892. Bishop John Shanley laid the corner stone and dedicated the church St. John Nepomucene. Rev. Charles Votypka was installed as first resident priest by Bishop Shanley in 1897. Rev. Frank Just came in 1900 and in 1916 the interior of the church was tinned and painted, unique colored windows were installed and new Stations of the Cross were bought for the church.

     On Feb. 10, 1918, Rev. Just celebrated his Silver Jubilee to the priesthood in Pisek. He stayed until 1920. In 1920 Rev. Thomas Ballon came. The parish decided to put a full basement and winter Chapel under the church and a furnace was installed. He stayed for seven years (1927). Sverma came from Veseleyville to offer mass and then Rev. Huebseh served our parish, 1928-1929. During his stay the Sodality of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was organized for girls and St. Aloysios Society for young men was organized. Rev. Sverma again came from Veseleyville to hold services until Rev. Frank Tomanek came in 1929. He stayed with us to 1933 when Rev. Jon Turek came to our parish and remained with us up to the time of his death on Aug. 25, 1947.

     Rev. Placid Sasek served our parish up to the time Rev. John Roth arrived in 1948. On Aug. 22, 1948, St. Anne’s Rosary Society was organized. First officers were Mary Mrs. Cyril Greicar, president; Mrs. B.J. Schnedar, vice president; Mrs. Herman (Edith) Praska, secretary; and Mrs. Edward Jelinek, treasurer.

     The furnace was converted to oil. In 1974 the interior of the church was painted, roof reshingled and steeple repaired. St. John’s Guild was organized in 1962. First officers were Mrs. Frank Lovcik, president; Mrs. Elphage Denault, vice president; and Mrs. Cyril Greicar, secretary-treasurer.

     Rev. Roth celebrated his Silver Jubilee to the priesthood on June 19, 1966. The religious vocations that came from this thriving parish are Rev. George Krile and Rev. Thomas Kadlec, O.S.C., both ordained in June of 1941. Sisters are Sister Placida (Irene Lovcik) and Sister Diane O.S.B. (Diane Maresh). Rev. Kadlec died July 28, 1966.

     Submitted by Mrs. John H. Jelinek, Pisek, ND

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