Josie Chaney, Dante Foote Lindgren and Mary Catherine Jarman received their first Communion May 9 from Fr. Andrew Ricci at St. Anthony, Lake Nebagamon. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald staff

At St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Lake Nebagamon, much is changing while staying very much the same.

On Sunday, May 2, the almost 120-year-old church was decommissioned next door to the construction of a new church building, which will be Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and more energy efficient.

Prayers and commentaries led by pastor Fr. Andy Ricci offered praise to God and affirmed hope in the resurrection and God’s guidance towards the eternal dwelling of the saints in heaven.

“We pray that the Lord will now bless us all and assist us as we continue our spiritual journey as members here at St. Anthony Catholic Church,” he said. “May we who mourn the loss of one building prepare a space for the one that it is to come. May we cherish the memories we have built here, but may we also sink new roots in the building we will inhabit soon.”

Invocations were offered for all those who were baptized in the church, made their first Communion, were confirmed in the Holy Spirit, were united in marriage and received anointing of the sick.

“For the thousands of people who prayed in this cracker box church, for 121 years, for the people who grew in faith, hope and love in the name of Jesus,” Fr. Ricci prayed.

“With one heart and one voice,” the pastor led the praying of the Our Father for the last time among a building filled with children and adults of all ages.
“Our time here has ended,” Fr. Ricci said with pause, “But we will begin anew. May what we learned here be put into practice,” he concluded.

The dedication ceremony for the new church is set for June 20 at 4 p.m.