October 15~Year 6, No.53

Art Club Betters Community

art group photo


Something new for the students this year is Art Club. Because Nazareth is a small school, it is great to see more organizations to be involved in. The club consists of grades ninth through twelfth. Art Club has officers just like FFA, student council, etc. President is Amanda Kleman, vice president is Alicia Straley, secretary is Sara Kleman, treasurer is Carly Wilhelm, and historian is Madison Samford. Each person had to give a PowerPoint presentation to the club about why they should become an officer. The rest of the club members voted for the officers. Freshmen through seniors have the choice to be in Art Club. The members will make crafts and art to help out the community throughout the year. For example, so far the members have made wreaths for teachers to hang on their classroom door, and an art exhibit to fill the walls inside the Home Mercantile building. The members have a weekly meeting every Wednesday after school to decide their next project.

Youth Entrepreneur Fair


High school students with great ideas for creating businesses are invited to compete at the 8th Annual Ogallala Commons Youth Entrepreneur Fair.  The Fair will be held on Wednesday, November 19th at the Cole Community Center in Canyon, TX.  There will be two categories in the Fair: ready-to-go businesses, as well as conceptual businesses that could be launched in the future.  The three top products or concepts exhibited in each division at the Fair will receive cash prizes: first place: $1,000, second place: $750, and third place: $500.

In order to enter the Fair, students must submit a 4-5 page “business portfolio” that includes a Snapshot of the Business, Products or Services Offered, Marketing, Management, and some basic Financials.  The deadline for submitting the Portfolio is November 5th.  In past years, about 40 students from area high schools qualify to enter about 25 individual or group projects 25 entries in the E-Fair.  Contestants will be awarded points by a panel of three judges in five main categories: Business Portfolio, Interview with Judges, and Booth Presentation at the Fair.

The Fair is sponsored by Ogallala Commons and its community and business sponsors who donate the cash prizes.  For more information or to receive an electronic Youth Entrepreneur Handbook, contact Darryl Birkenfeld, OC Director, at 806-945-2255 (darrylbirkenfeld@gmail.com).


Swifts Win First District Game  

By: Mason Kleman


              This Friday we took on White Deer in our first district game of the season. We knew this would be a key game to win in order to accomplish our goal of making it to the playoffs this season. White Deer had a couple of big guys and a strong running game so we practiced a lot during the week in stopping that. When Friday came, it was wet  and cold. It was a game similar to the one against McLean last year when we lost. This year the weather once again affected us in a huge way. We started off the game strong scoring eighteen unanswered points. White Deer would take advantage of some miscommunications on our part as well as turnovers to come within two points before halftime. They took the lead in the second half, but we fought back to score and take the lead with twelve seconds left in the game. We are very proud of the way we fought to win the game, but we know we have a lot of things to work on during out open week in order to get ready for a huge game at home against Happy and keep winning in district play to make it to the playoffs. We thank everybody for all of the support, and we hope to see you all keep coming out to our games. Come watch us next week when we take on Happy in a huge rivalry game at home on the 24th! This game is our “Pink Out Game.” Wear pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness.


St.Joseph Church Rhineland

Gothic-Style Church is Striking in Rural West Texas Setting By: Hanaba Munn Welch For the News–Courier of Knox County, August, 2014.


At Rhineland, Texas, in the wide-open cotton, wheat and cattle country just south of the Brazos River in Knox County, a tall Gothic style church gives a European touch to this little German Catholic farming town. The Texas-size tractors and trucks parked around the grain elevators a block away spoil the illusion of being in the Rhine country of Germany.  So does the nearby Brazos – not exactly the Rhine River of Europe, although picturesque in its own way as it swells after a rain and runs low in droughts. North of Rhineland, river breaks are rough red clay and the trees are scrub cedar, but land around Rhineland is tamer, more suited to farming and to turn-of-the-century

colonization by agriculturally-oriented Germans and German-Americans.

A plaque at this church, set in place in 1995 by the Rhineland council of the Knights of Columbus, tells the history of the church, sometimes smilingly called the “Cathedral in a Cotton Patch.”  The wording on the plaque refers to the church in a grander way as the “Cathedral in the Colony.”  Not that the church is truly a cathedral in either case, but its impressive presence in the small community seems to beg for a higher-ranking name than just “Church”.

“German-Catholic Colony settled in 1895 by Rev. Joseph Reisdorff.  St. Joseph’s Church, an edifice of German-Gothic architecture, was designed by Rev. Boniface Spanke, O.S.B.  Construction started in 1927, completed structure dedicated November 8, 1951.  Construction interrupted by depression and World War II was completed through donated labor, materials and funds by dedicated parishioners.  Over 80 thousand homemade bricks were made 6 at a time by parishioners.  Interior is of same Gothic design with white columns and Gothic ribbing supporting the high vaulted acoustical ceiling.  Faceted glass windows portray the life of Christ and Biblical scenes.  Hand carved altar, designed by Grier Bros. in 1890, serves as the main altar of the Cathedral in the Colony.”

The Rev. Reisdorff, a German-born priest, and Hugh Herchenbach, also of German origin, promoted the settlement of the Rhineland community, advertising it widely as a colony for German Catholics.  Banker, rancher and real estate developer J.C. League set aside 12,000 acres of Knox County land for the project.  Herchenbach served as Rhineland’s first postmaster, 1895-1898.  About 100 people live in Rhineland.  Except for those who live southwest of the grain elevators, they all have a good view of the steeple of St. Joseph’s Church and can hear the bells when they chime.

Rhineland wasn’t the only German Catholic church and colony established with the help of Reisdorff.  The priest first served German Catholics in Missouri.  When he moved to Texas, he established the North Texas German Catholic settlement of Windthorst before moving west to Rhineland and then farther west to establish a church at Nazareth.

An official state historical marker at Holy Family Catholic Church in Nazareth in the Texas Panhandle contains the following wording:

The Rev. Joseph Reisdorff arrived in 1902 to establish a Catholic parish.  Advertising in German-language newspapers in the U.S. Midwest, he induced many German Catholic families to settle here.  Reisdorff named the new town Nazareth.

The farming town of Nazareth is perhaps closer in looks and latitude to the more famous Nazareth in Israel than Rhineland, Texas, is to the old German Rhineland.  As for Windthorst, noted today for its dairies and its St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the town was named for Ludwig Windthorst, a Catholic statesman who opposed the secularization of German parochial schools.  Reisdorff was also a key figure in the settlement of Umbarger, Texas, 30 miles north of Nazareth, named for rancher S. G. Umbarger.




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