October 12, 2016~Year 9, No. 11


Picture2.pngTwo dozen Nazareth 5th Graders and their teacher Sara Hunter, learned about wetland plants that produce food for wildlife at the Playa Festival on Oct. 7th. Ogallala Commons provided a team of 4 presenters for the students from Nazareth, Kress, and Happy schools, and the event was sponsored by Running Water and Tule Creek Soil & Water Conservation Districts.

Since 2005, every 5th Grade class from Nazareth has attended a Playa Festival, and learned that, when it comes to the water cycle in the Southern High Plains, playas are a keystone ecosystem. While we don’t have mountains or rivers in our region, we have the largest number of playas in all the world.


“Remembering”: The Heart of My Vacation

Fr. Ken Keller, Holy Family Pastor

picture1A train ride excites most children, and the kid in me still felt real joy at the adventure of my September vacation and traveling on the Amtrak “Crescent” that plunges from the South USA up the Eastern coast to Penn Station in New York City and return. No airline trip gives the comfortable peace, joy, and memory-time of this recent journey to visit and revisit relatives and friends, tourist destinations and a commemorative trip to the World Trade Center site on its 15th Anniversary of 9/11. Vacation is from the Latin, meaning “freedom from”, and as much as I love Nazareth’s familial bustle and the parish’s spiritual energy, the nearly three weeks away was revitalizing – giving me a lot of new faith perspectives – and also was retrospectively enriching – recalling my father’s 50 years in railroading, my leaving by Amarillo’s Fort Worth and Denver train at 18 to attend seminary, my first solo train vacation to California in the ‘60’s. New York City’s Fordham University, wonderfully located next to Lincoln Center’s symphonic music halls, has changed much in the thirteen years since my Master’s graduation, and the Trinity Church building where I counseled 9/11 survivors is gone, but Manhattan still has magic in memories and fun in musicals and plays. Time spent with relatives and God-children in Texas, Delaware, and Pennsylvania rounded out my “memorable” vacation 2016.


Alive and Thriving – Housing Developments (Article Three) by Abby Schmucker

In the Community Intern program of Ogallala Commons, we are asked to look at our communities with new perspectives, and as I experienced this with Eastern Castro County and Nazareth, it was clear that one measurement of steady growth could be construction of new homes. This third article in the series examines the growth during the years 2013 to the present.  Homes have been constructed both within Nazareth city limits as well as nearby, and all have added an equal part to the village.

According to the Castro County Appraisal District, there were two new houses recorded in 2013 that were not in previous year records.

One of these houses is owned by the Hart of Texas Cattle Feeders. It is the home of Smiley and Stacia Burnett, and they have lived there since it was built. They have one daughter, and she has been a student at Nazareth for several years. Another of the new homes is owned by Wendal Huseman who previously lived in a house in town. He has two children in high school, both of which have been in the Nazareth school system since their elementary years.

In 2014, the appraisal district shows that there were five new residential improvements in the community of Nazareth that were not on the tax rolls one year earlier.

The first of these originally belonged to Tyler and Misty Schacher, it is now owned by Wayne and Jo Pierson. They have two children, one who recently graduated from Nazareth and one who is still in school. Another new house is the home of Justin and Kandal Wethington. They currently have all three of their children enrolled as students in Nazareth. Leola Ramaekers, who previously lived in the country, also owns one of the new houses, and Dale Wilhelm also added a new home. Also built in the same year was the Yellow Rose Inn owned by Dale and Marlene Acker. The inn is a bed and breakfast in town that contains three bedrooms, three additional cabins in the back, and soon another three forming a replica of a small German village. It is often used by out of town family members and friends needing a place to stay during various gatherings and events in our area.

The next year, 2015, began with two newly built houses. One belongs to Chris and Melina Birkenfeld. They have three children, with two enrolled in the Nazareth School, and Melina is a part of the Nazareth ISD staff. The other new home was owned by Bernice Hoelting but is now owned by Evan and Macee Huseman.

In 2015-2016, a newly completed residence raised a lot of interest in the village because it would be the completion of a longtime vision of offering quality housing for our elders of the community, many moving into town from the surrounding farm houses.  Immediately next to City Hall and across the street from the Senior Citizens Center The Birch Villas became the first new structure in “downtown Nazareth” in years.  It contains 8 separate residences for elders who are in need of a new place to live that gives them all the most modern, convenient and safe facilities available.

These new improvements to the Nazareth Community have not only helped the village grow, but gave a new lease on the quality of life here.  Besides the many new homes built, a number of older homes went through major renovations with added size, such as the home of Jordy and Maegan Rowland. The Castro County Appraisal shows that the residential value of the Nazareth school district grew from $16,813,540 to $20,534,770 during these years. New people and new life coming to a small farming community such as Nazareth and Eastern Castro County highlights that together we are “alive and thriving”.



The Youth Group is partnering with several other groups on November 6th in Lubbock for Operations Christmas Child. We are needing donations for items that will be put in boxes for the kids. School supplies, (pencils, pens crayons ,etc.) non-liquid hygiene items, (toothbrushes, bar soap, washcloths, combs, etc.) are types of items needed. Donations can be dropped off at the office or at Derwin & Vera Huseman’s house. Thank you in advance.



The Youth Group will be putting on a “Tour of Homes”, Sunday, December 11th from  2-4 as a fundraiser. If you would like to put your house on the tour, please call Allison Kleman 325-226-9999 by October 30th.



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