Our small vibrant community originated in the early 1900’s, when a few settlers (of German heritage) envisioning a better life on land of their own, immigrated from the United States to the community known as “Dead Moose Lake”. In 1924 Father Matthias the parish priest, chose the name “Marysburg” to replace the original unsavoury name of Dead Moose Lake.
Marysburg, in its heyday consisted of a few houses, a general store, a convent and boarding school, a blacksmith shop and a flour mill. In 1903, the first church, a log structure, was built at a cost of $287.50. With the community growing so quickly an eight-foot addition was added to the church but soon it too became too small for the ever-growing population.
In 1906, a larger frame church was constructed at a cost of $2850. A devastating tornado destroyed it on June 27, 1919.
A catastrophic event like this might have taken the heart out of such a small community, but not so of Marysburg. No strangers to adversity, the parishioners rallied to build Marysburg’s third church. The community forged ahead with determination. In early 1920 construction began on the solid brick church that remains standing today. The first service was held on May 29, 1921, the feast of Corpus Christi. The cost of constructing the church exceeded $30,000 with the cost of the beautiful statues and interior furnishings adding to the overall expenditure. In 1926 there was a debt of $26,400 remaining which increased over the depression years. Fr. John Hable, pastor, was able to announce at Christmas, 1945, that, thanks to a special debt-reducing drive, the entire debt had been wiped out!
We are so fortunate and grateful to be entrusted with this legacy. Today though few in numbers, we stand as members of the Marysburg community, in awe and gratitude of the initiative of our forefathers. Their sacrifice, hard work and dedication bore fruit. To us they handed down a structure like none other… a church where their children, grandchildren , great grandchildren and generations to come would gather to be baptised, confirmed, married and buried and to celebrate music. Each Christmas Eve the church is still filled to overflowing with relatives and friends of Marysburg who feel a special , spiritual connection to the heart of this magnificent church and its musical legacy.
As the times have changed and rural population decreased, our community like so many others has been greatly affected. Our congregation which once filled the church to over 400 strong, now barely fills the first few rows at Sunday Mass and struggles to continue as a parish. Though the future of our parish itself is uncertain, we are inspired by the foresight of our ancestors and their determination in building this church decades ago, and we remain determined to keep this beautiful structure alive, to keep its heart beating.
We could think only to keep a heart beating with breath, the breath of music. So with that was born the “Marysburg Centre of the Arts” - our new vision to extend purpose of this grand church. It is the mandate of our newly formed group to continue to preserve the beautiful structure of the building but more importantly to share the beauty, spirit and acoustical gifts contained within its hallowed walls.
We embrace the future and are excited to welcome both seasoned and aspiring artists looking to experience the acoustic prowess of our church and share its magic with their audience.
“There must be always remaining in every life,
some place for the singing of angels,
some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.”