Thursday, June 20, 2013

Those Places Thursday: St. Mary's Catholic Church, Fredericksburg, Texas

St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Texas, has been my parents' parish church for the past 20 years. It has a gorgeous interior with intricate painting, wooden pews, and lovely commemorative stained glass windows were installed in 1906 and 1914–17.
[Interior "New"] Saint Mary's Catholic Church Fredericksburg Texas by Jim Crotty [26 March 2013] / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

["New"] St. Mary's Catholic Church (Fredericksburg, Texas) [10 January 2010] / Christoph Müller (Pisi.de) / CC BY 3.0

[Old St. Mary's] Catholic Church [10 June 2005] / MyEyeSees / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
This current church was built in 1906 and is on the National Register of Historic Sites.  The "old" church, Die Alte Kirche or Marienkirche, pictured in the foreground at right, was built in 1863.  Limestone for its foundation and two-foot-thick walls was quarried in Comfort, Texas, while soapstone for the floors came from nearby Willow City, and wood for the roof came from Bastrop.

The interior (pictured below) is simple, with lovely blue stained glass in the windows fitting for a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is still used for special occasions today, including Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

[Interior Old ] St Mary's Church Fredericksburg [15 April 2008] / Celeste / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Vereins Kirche Museum, Fredericksburg, TX [12-07] / Franklin B. Thompson / CC BY-NC 2.0
When the settlers first arrived in 1846, Catholics and Protestants shared the Vereins-Kirche (Society Church), the first public building in town.  It was nicknamed the Kaffeemühle (coffee mill) for its octagonal shape.  A replica, pictured at left, is located in the Marktplatz, near its original location in the middle of Main Street.  The Catholics built their own church in 1848-50, on the site of  today's Marienkirche.

St. Mary's Parish has also operated a Catholic school since 1856.  In 1924, a high school was constructed, with the impressive motto pictured below at the top of its tall columns.  Although the high school closed in 1975, the building still houses grades 3-8 of the school.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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