1942: St. Patrick School Reopens; Parish is Debt-Free in 1945!

On August 2, 1940, Father Godfrey Piontkowski, O.F.M., along with Brother Bies, O.F.M., arrived at St. Patrick. By that time, the number of parish families had dwindled to 39, the school had been closed for six years, and the parish buildings had suffered from lack of funds for upkeep. The loan that Bishop Kucera had procured in order to save the parish from bankruptcy needed to be paid. Father Godfrey had a monumental task ahead of him, but he was determined to eliminate the parish debt and to reopen St. Patrick’s school. He succeeded in reopening the school in 1942, and worked steadily alongside willing parishioners to repair and update the church building. By 1945, the debt was paid as well. The $13,000 that had remained to be paid was taken care of when each wage earner was asked to pay $126. The last dollar came in after Mass on Gaudete Sunday. For the first time in its history, the parish was debt free.