Saturday, December 4, 2021/Categories: History
On the day of the dedication, November 14, 1894, the cannon awakened the people at 5 a.m. By 8 a.m., a large crowd of people had gathered. "St. Benedict's brass band added to the joy of the people by playing some fine tunes. And when the St. Peter and Paul Society of Seneca arrived in a body, headed by the Seneca brass band, there was an enthusiasm manifested such as can be seen only on very few occasions." By 9 a.m., the five church societies gathered under their banners and formed a circle around the church. At 10 a.m., the outside and then the inside of the church were blessed followed by a solemn High Mass by Very Rev. Emanuel Hartig. The sermon was preached in German by P.N. Schlecter, S.J., of St. Louis. At the end of Mass there was a sermon in English by P. Charles Stoeclke, O.S. B., of Seneca. After the service the ladies of the parish served a grand dinner in the old church until 3 p.m. At 3:30, there was a lecture on Christian education by P. Charles Stoeclke, O.S. B. At 6:30 there was a great display of fireworks. After that there was dancing and other amusements until 12 p.m. when all went home rejoicing that they had taken part in the in the celebration of the greatest festival ever witnessed in Nemaha Co." It was estimated that three to four thousand people were present. (From St. Mary’s Catholic Parish 1859 – 2009, “Faith Moves Us Forward”).
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