I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the Stettler History Book committee. It’s a great bunch of people who have all been working very hard to compile as comprehensive of book on our town as we can.
One great thing about being on the committee has been reading some of the submissions. We’ve been getting a great response from the community and It’s been a lot of fun to preview submissions.
One interesting submission that was sent in was of the Catholic church. One of the photos included shows the partially constructed building. I hope there are more pictures out there showing the overall construction. It was probably quite the undertaking.
Father Ernest Battle was a driving force in many ways for many things. In the 20’s the Stettler Board of Trade asked him to begin the process of forming a Sister’s Hospital. When the process was delayed due to a second group of people who were hoping to form a municipal hospital instead, it was Father Battle who would set the nursing Sister’s up at Carder Hall so they could operate a temporary care facility until a decision had been made. Father Battle was noted as being heavily involved in the designing, and contracting of the new Parish.
The new Catholic church, was slated to replace the town’s original one which had been built in 1909. The first Catholic church was called Our Lady of Perpetual Help and had reached it’s capacity by the mid 40’s. The building was then moved to a lot across from the high school and used as classrooms. In 1947 a group of volunteers worked to build a Parish Hall which would then serve as the place of worship until a proper church was constructed. By 1949, the Christ King parish was completed, and would be formally dedicated on November 3, 1950.
Now. I’ve never been into the Christ-King church itself, although I have been into the Parish Hall, which has a great little display setup in honor of Father Battle. However, if the inside is anything like the outside, it must be spectacular. I have always been in awe of the local Catholic church, and am very thankful it is still around. It is a truly majestic structure, one I think it’s parishioners can be proud of. One I think our community can be proud of, and it is easily within my top five favorite buildings in town.
Carson Ellis writes a regular local history column for The Stettler Independent.