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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Educational and devotion center to open at Maryhill

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It was one year ago when Father Gene Sitzmann, along with members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, dedicated the new Maryhill Welcome Center with a Shelter House and the new Rainbow Playground on the grounds of the former Maryhill Church.

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Father Gene Sitzmann is pictured placing a statuette of "Our Lady of the Field" that is the center peace of the new Educational and Devotional Center to the Holy Rosary on the site of the former Maryhill Church. This is just one of the ongoing efforts to keep the Maryhill grounds and spiritual needs open to the public. Future plans are to construct a pavilion directly behind the statuette this fall. . Photo by Mike Leckband
The Maryhill Church was destroyed during a windstorm in the summer of 2006. It was shortly thereafter that news from the Archdiocese in Sioux City came that the church would not be rebuilt.

It was Father Sitzmann's wish to see the former parishioners still have a place to come home to when they came to the hallowed grounds of Maryhill. It was that need that led him to build the shelter house and playground, that he dedicated to the memory of his parents and to St. Isadora, the Patron Saint of farmers.

At that time, Sitzmann promised that there would be more to come on the grounds of Maryhill. True to his word, Sitzmann recently announced the construction and near completion of a prayerful memorial shrine that reflects on all the themes of the Four Gospel Mysteries and the Rosary.

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Surprised Sitzmann - Father Gene Sitzmann is pictured with a delightful look on his face when a closer look to the cornerstone of the fallen Maryhill Church revealed a time capsule from when the church was built over 100 years ago. Photo contributed
The memorial shrine has recently been constructed on the exact sight of the fallen church and takes the shape of a Rosary. Visitors can discover for themselves as they walk up the stairs that led to the church that a new vision awaits them.

A devotional site in prayerful support of rural life and its economies is at the heart of the shrine, with a memorial to "Our Lady of the Fields" representing the Virgin Mary. Directly behind the memorial will be a planter where a few ears of wheat, corn, alfalfa will grow. Once again, reflection of rural life and its economy will be on display.

Connecting the entrance walkway with the pentagon, like a on a Rosary, will be the Rosary Centerpiece which will be the corner stone of the former church.

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The Maryhill Rosary - Here is a look at the nearly complete Educational and Devotional Center to the Holy Rosary located at the former location of the Maryhill Church. Plans for an additional pavilion type building will also be built this fall on the grounds at Maryhill. Photo by Mike Leckband
During the recent demolition of the fallen church's foundation, the cornerstone was removed and on a hunch, an opening was hammered into the bottom and a time capsule was uncovered.

Tucked away in a small tin was a decree written in German. Unfortunately, the tin that was meant to protect the document caused irrepairable damage to the paper.

The final phase of this project will be completed this fall. Sitzmann indicated that the next project will be that of a pavilion behind the Rosary.

The completion of this project as a whole is to be used as an educational and devotional center to the Holy Rosary and to focus on the sacred scriptures.



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