What do you do on a Sunday afternoon when you've been stuck in the house for six days, feel a little weak and shaky, and have a bad cough? Sweet Mr. H had the perfect solution, a short road trip. I was able to just sit back and enjoy the scenery and the warm sunshine. Oh, by the way, it was 70 degrees again today. Where, oh where is February? Where is the cold I so love? Where is the snow? Okay, back to our road trip. Recently he had spotted an old church that he thought I'd be interested in taking some pictures of. Did I mention that he was sweet?
We hit the road after lunch armed with camera, water, tissues, and cough drops! I wasn't worried that I'd give this awful viral mess to Mr. H, he's the one that gave it to me!! So sweet to share?? When Mr H said an old church I really expected a rundown church with cracked windows and peeling paint. Not so, this church was beautiful and so well kept which is amazing. The nearest town only has a population of 314. I know parishioners come from around the county, but we're talking about a very sparsely populated area.
In the small town of New Dixie, Arkansas tucked away among tall trees is the Saint Boniface Catholic Church. It was worth the drive just to see this lovely building in the woods. But, it got even better. As we drove up the road we noticed a few cars in front of the church. The cars began to leave, all except one. She stopped beside us and told us we were welcome to enter the church. The don't lock the doors since they enjoy having visitors see the inside of their historic church. They also have a greeter who welcomes you. See he/she sitting on the lower part of the handicap ramp?
Immigrants from Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland formed the St. Boniface Parish in 1879. They attended mass in individual homes until a church could be built on 40 acres donated by The Choctaw Railroad which is today known as the Rock Island Railroad. The first church they built was destroyed by fire in 1906. All was lost but the high alter which had been brought from Germany by one of the church members. The people were able to construct a new building the same year. I know 1906 doesn't sound very old to some of you, but in poor rural areas churches were not build with brick, they were build with lumber cut from the nearby woods and that lumber would not last forever. In fact the oldest church building still standing in Arkansas was built in 1856.
The bells placed in the steeple in 1906, are still tolled by hand and ring out across the community every Sunday morning.
As with most old churches there was a cemetery beside it. The older markers were written in German, but we could make out a few words. I was fascinated by the beautiful crosses, from the very simple to the amazingly intricate.
We continued on our drive to see another old church and then we headed toward home passing by St. Boniface Church from a different direction and in the late afternoon. As I spotted the church through the trees I knew we had to stop again.
The afternoon sun was shining on the church bring out rich golden tones. The stained glass windows were glowing. The colors didn't show up quite as beautiful as what I was seeing. Just trust me, it was breathtaking!
I can't tell you how good it felt to just get out of this house on such a beautiful day with good company. To top it off, we were blessed with the most gorgeous sunset!