100 year celebration pamphlet – Sacred Heart Catholic Church – Hobson, Montana Established 1915
Church Recently Erected In Hobson By The Catholic Society
“This attractive and well apportioned structure is a credit to our town”
“Last Sunday, April 25, was a red letter day for the Catholic society of Hobson and vicinity, for on that day they were able to hold services in a church of their own, which the society has just erected in Hobson. Ever since the town was started this society has been handicapped for a church building, but rather than forego holding services because of the lack of a church, they have held services at stated intervals at the residence of John Shea, the Lewistown parish supplying a priest for this congregation up to within a few months ago when this district was transferred to the Belt parish.”
‘Judith Basin Star” Hobson, Fergus County, Montana Thursday, April 29, 1915
Early in the summer of 1914, the work of securing money for the erection of a church was started. Mrs. John Shea was the one who started the project and contributions were made by both Catholics and Protestants. The new church, while not the largest, is one of the best in the county and a credit to the society as well as to Hobson. The Altar Society had been organized in 1909 and purchased the 2 lots on which the church stands.
The building was erected by McCubbin & Fernquist, who had the contract at a cost of about $3,000. The plans for the building were drawn by J. W. Theisen, an architect of Great Falls. The building is a bungalow design, 28′ x 60′ with 12′ walls. There is a concrete foundation under the entire building. In the rear of the foundation is an excavation 16′ x 28′ which will be used for a furnace room and for coal bins with a concrete floor. The exterior of the building is finished with red cedar siding, four inches to the weather. At the front is a vestibule 7′ x 10′ and in front of the vestibule a porch 6′ x 10′. The two gables each have a louver in the center and are paneled with 8″ boards with a rough cast plaster in the panels.
Going into the building are double front doors opening outward. From the vestibule into the main room of the church are two double-action doors. The interior size of the main room is 27′ by 49′, with a balcony at the front end. The height of the ceiling at the walls in 12′ and in the center 14′. In the rear of the building is the sanctuary where there is an arch 10′ x 10′. There are 3 steps here, the first forming a platform in front of the sanctuary arch, with a railing and two small doors. Then there are two steps, one in line with the arch and one five feet back. On each side of the sanctuary are doors, one leading in to the sacristy and another leading into a room which leads outside. These rooms are both 8′ square.
The whole interior is plastered and is finished in Douglas fir, in a mission effect, and is stained a dark oak and varnished. The ceiling of the main room is paneled to give a beam effect. The building is to be heated by hot air, the furnace carrying heat to two registers, one on each side of the sanctuary.
The building is wired for electricity but the fixtures for lighting purposes have not yet been installed. The altar, which has been donated by a lady in Chicago, is now in transit and will be placed in the church within the next two weeks.
Chairs served as pews until the present pews were purchased or donated by different families and installed. An old bedstead, painted white, served as the altar until the new one arrived.
The first resident priest was Father John Molyneaux. (Moore) He served until 1931 when he was transferred to Geyser; then Father John Finucane served until 1933 at which time Father Francis Bonney was appointed. He served until 1952, when ill health forced him to retire. Father Bonney was succeeded by Father Joseph Gluszek, a liberated Polish priest. Many improvements were made during his time including complete renovation, installation of an oil furnace and an electric organ. In 1962, Father Gluszek was transferred to Geyser and Father Joseph McDermott was appointed. He too, continued making improvements including adding more pews. Ill health forced him to leave and Father Edward Shinnick came in his place. He continued with the improvements to the church and property. The basement was finished and painted, a rest room installed and a kitchen which then was able to be used for dinners, CCD, meetings and other functions.
In 1966, Father Charles Mears was appointed and served for 10 years. Then in order: Father Isadorius Gedvilla, Father Tom Begin, Father John Dimke, Father Ted Szudera, Father Raymond Nyquist. In 1988, the parish boundaries incorporated the parish of Stanford, Geyser, Moore and Hobson. In 1994, Hobson became a mission church out of St. Leo’s in Lewistown and Father Jay Peterson and Father Wayne Pittard served as pastors for 3 years until it was dissolved. At that time, 1997, Father Terry Regan became pastor-he lived in Stanford and served Geyser, Stanford, Hobson, Moore and Denton. He retired in 2011. Then Father Theodore Szudera, and now Father Domenico Pizzonia.
The “Sacred Heart” stained glass window was added in the east wall of the sanctuary of the church in 1983. St. Thomas Children’s home in Great Falls was selling their stained glass windows and contacted our church about the Sacred Heart window. The members of this congregation were able to raise the money to purchase it, and installed it themselves. The original window included a pane It the bottom that could be opened. This made it tall for the space available, so the bottom pane was removed and built in to the stand for the tabernacle and is lighted.
In 2002, the parishioners took it upon themselves t0 update the church which included remodeling the entire main floor. The two rooms on either side of :he sanctuary were opened up and now one side is used for music ministry and one side for devotion t0 the Blessed Sacrament. The entire inside was painted, new carpet laid, kneelers reupholstered and all new frosted windows installed. Stained glass panels were commissioned to match the Sacred Heart window and they hang in the windows on either side of it.
Don Derks, who organized the update project, built the lighted display case in which he incorporated the old altar rail. It contains a display of parish ‘treasurers” found during the remodeling.
1910 -1912 the Hobson Parish was a station (masses were not held on a certain schedule) out of St. Benedict’s, Roundup
1913 – 1914 we were a station out of st. Leo’s, Lewistown
1915 our Church was named Sacred Heart and since has been designated a mission (masses are scheduled but not a resident priest)
Footnote: Fr Van den Broeck, pastor at St Leo’s of Lewistown, purchased lots in the town site of Philbrook prior to 1908 to erect a church there. However, with the coming of the railroad to Hobson in 1908 and bypassing Philbrook, that site was given up and Hobson became the hub of this area of the Judith Basin.
Judith Basin Star, April 29, 1915
St Mathias Parish=Bt) years–1907~ 1987, Imagination Press, Pg. 7 and 8
Pride of the Judith-Hobson History Book, Ballyhoo Printing, 2002
“From Age to Age” A History of the Catholic Church in Eastern MT 1904~2004 Diocese of Great Falls-Billinqs, Kim Larsen
Darren Eultgen, M.Div.,
Chancellor, Diocese of Great Falls-Billings
The following priests were assigned to this mission since its inception:
1908 – 1910 Rev. Aloysius Mueller Roundup, St. Benedict
1911 – 1914 Rev. Victor J Van den Broeck Lewistown, St. Leo’s
1915 – 1930 Rev. John J. Molyneux Moore, St. Mathias
1931 – 1933 Rev. John Finucane Moore, St. Mathias
1934 – 1952 Rev. Francis E. Bonny Moore, St. Mathias
1952 – 1953 Rev. Joseph S. Heretick Moore, St. Mathias
1953 – 1962 Rev. Joseph Gluszek Moore, St. Mathias
1962 – 1963 Rev. Neil J. McDermott Moore, St. Mathias
1963 – 1966 Rev. Edward P. Shinnick Moore, St. Mathias
1966 – 1976 Rev. Charles T. Mears Moore, St. Mathias
1976 – 1981 Rev. Izidorius Gedvila Moore, St. Mathias
1981 – 1982 Rev. John H. Dimke Moore, St. Mathias
1982 – 1983 Rev. Thomas M. Beggin Moore, St. Mathias
1983 – 1985 Rev. Theodore F. Szudera Moore, St. Mathias
1985 – 1994 Rev. Raymond J. Nyquist Moore, St. Mathias
1994 – 1997 Rev. Jay Peterson/Rev. Wayne Pittard St. Leo’s, Lewistown
1997 – 2011 Rev. Terry Regan St. Rose of Lima, Stanford
2011 – 2012 Rev. Theodore F. Szudera St. Rose of Lima, Stanford
2012 – current Rev. Domenico Pizzonia St. Rose of Lima, Stanford
At this time, 2015, Fr. Dom serves 5 churches- Geyser, Stanford, Denton, Hobson and Moore
Saturdays: 5:30 pm
except 3rd Sunday of month 8:30 am – Word & Communion Service