Webster’s Dictionary states that an archive is “a place in which public records, historical documents or materials relating to the activities, business dealings, etc., of a person, family, corporation, association, community or nation are preserved.” Do we have any archives here at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church? We do, but not as many as you might think for a parish more than 150 years old that also has a school. You see, when the “new church” was built, many of the items you would have seen in the old church were donated to a church in Alabama. We do still have a mixture of things – of course, all sacramental records are safely kept and some items from the old church are displayed in the niche in the back of the church where the statues of the Sacred Heart and St. Joseph are kept, with the round stained glass windows of St. Stephen and St. Paul nearby. Many other items like Father Wittman’s chalice and the round tabernacle that are stored in the Archive Room are rotated through the Archives Cabinet (located by the Jackson Street entrance) from time to time throughout the year.
In 2012 Fr. Nathan LaLiberte, with a keen interest in locating and organizing our archive history, encouraged a small group of parishioners to become the Archive Committee. We routinely change some or all of the cabinet to highlight the holy days, feast days, the school or church events. Generous members of the parish have contributed or placed on loan with the committee items like sick call sets, statues, other religious articles and pictures to enhance the cabinet and provide a greater variety of items to display.
St. Stephen’s has a marvelous history; preserving that history by caring for our archives and sharing them with our parishioners is our goal. If you would like to participate in this endeavor, please leave your contact information at the parish office.