Church: Loyal – St. Anthony’s
(1872 – 2020)
Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Abbotsford, WI) 21 Oct 2020
The first Catholic settlers began to arrive in the Loyal area in 1872, but services did not begin to be held in Loyal until after the railroad was built in 1891- 92 when it made it easier for a priest to reach the village. By 1883, services were being held twice per month in a store in town, leading to the decision to build a church in Loyal the following year. This first church was called St. Balthasar Church due mostly to the donation of land, lumber and high altar by Balthasar Christman.
The church began to grow during the next two decades. A rectory was built in 1903, followed by a school in 1909, which continues to be used today. In 1910, the first nuns came to the church and they later became teachers at the newly created school.
After many years of use, the congregation decided to build a new church at the same site, breaking ground on April 13, 1931. It was given the name of St. Anthony of Padua during its dedication on May 2, 1932.
Between 1938 and I960, the church had several changes as it continued to expand. The school was renovated to add more space for its classes several times and more land was purchased to give the church parking space and a playground area. A convent was also built for the nuns where they lived for many years. The church was also remodeled in the early 2000s to make the church more easily accessible for its congregation.
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