The Parishes of the Arcadia Deanery

Sunday, December 29, 2013

As I mentioned in my Christmas blog, we went on a tour of the parishes of the Arcadia Deanery.  If you where to visit all 11 churches in one loop it would be 123 miles.  We covered half on Christmas day and the other half the next day. A map of Arcadia Deanery (it looks like a heart):

Here are the pictures with my rankings. Yes I’ll agree that my #1 is a bit bias but hopefully you agree with me. So here it goes from worst to best:

#11 St. Ansgar – Blair, WI
This church is very boring, to me it looks like a nursing home or apartment complex. I've been inside it too and there really isn't much to say about it except boring...

#10 St. Bridget  – Ettrick, WI
I'm sorry to give this church such a bad rating but it doesn't look like a Catholic Church.  However, I've never been inside so maybe it would be higher if I have but here it is:

#9 St. Bartholomew – Trempealeau, WI         
Sorry Eric but a church that shares your middle name isn't that great.  I'm not a big fan of modern churches and this one seems very modern.  As my sister said, it doesn't look like a Catholic Church but more like a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall.

#8 St. Mary’s – Galesville, WI
Again, I've never been in this church but the outside looks nice and all but like the one above, it just doesn't look like a Catholic Church, this one seems to be like a Church of Christ or something like that.  So it gets bad marks for that.  I'm a tough critic!

#7 St. Lawrence – Alma, WI
We have played Polka Masses in this church many times.  It seems really modern, but I'm not exactly sure when it was built.  The inside is plain so it gets bad marks for that.  It has a great view of the Mississippi River though so that is cool.  

#6 St. John the Apostle – Whitehall, WI
St. John's was built back when a bunch of people got upset at the Independence people and built their own church.  I am not a big fan of this church because it has two wings and it always feels like the priest is turning his back on half of the congregation at all times. They should have just went for a round church and been done with it but instead they built this: Although I don't really like the building their choir is quite good. 

#5 Immaculate Conception – Fountain City, WI
I have never been in this church so I can't comment on the inside.  Again, this church doesn't look Catholic, Lutheran maybe?  Not really sure.  Also it used to be called St. Mary's but somewhere along the way they changed the name.  Not sure when or why:

#4 Holy Family – Arcadia, WI
The last 4 are hard to judge.  I picked Holy Family as #4 because I'm still upset they kept this church and let the much nicer, OLPH church, go (it is now an art museum). :( Its been a while since I've been inside but nothing seems to stick out in my memory so it couldn't be that fantastic. OLPH was beautiful inside but alas this is the church in Arcadia. I have to say the trees in the front really make it look nice.

#3 St. Boniface – Waumandee, WI
This church looks like a mini Sts. Peter and Paul (my hometown church).  It has that classic look with nice stain glass windows.  I really like the Nativity Scene in front. Funny story, when I was young, my family went to the fall festival at this church and my picture ended up in the paper of me picking a sucker in the sucker pull.  Great memories.  By the way this church is in tiny Waumandee (pop. 515) and they still operate a Catholic school! It is really God's country with the bluffs surrounding it.  Very beautiful area!

#2 Most Sacred Heart – Pine Creek, WI
This church is so important there is a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to it! Click here to read about it.  This church is beautiful.  Again, it is like a mini Sts. Peter and Paul.  Pine Creek, like Waumandee, is tiny.  There are two bars and the church. As the Winona Republican Herald commented in reporting on Sacred Heart-Saint Wenceslaus's fiftieth anniversary celebration, the church was truly a village in itself. The church celebrated 150 years in 2012. 

Last but not least the #1 church of the Arcadia Deanery is:
#1 SS. Peter and Paul – Independence, WI
I know I'm biased but based on the past 10 churches, this one is my favorite and hopefully yours too. It is the largest one in the deanery and it has the most beautiful stain glassed windows.  There is a massive restoration project going on right now.  They are restoring the stain glass windows to their original look and the difference is amazing! It will look amazing once the painting project is completed. I can't wait to see it!

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