A drive along State Highway 74 in southwestern Saline County will lead to one of the early Czech-Catholic churches built in Nebraska. The white-clapboard, Gothic-Revival structure has been a bastion of Catholicism in Tobias for over 100 years and is a historical and sacred space.
The small neat church houses a lovely high altar featuring the Infant Jesus of Prague within a sparkling sanctuary. The interior is tied-together with an architecturally appealing ceiling and carefully-crafted woodwork; while the Statues of Mary and St. Joseph, along with the Stations of the Cross reflect a newness imparted by the caring parish. The church building is generally locked, aside from when Masses are held on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. (April-October) and 10:00 a.m. (November-March). Confession is available one-half hour before Mass.
Address: 511 Elm Street, Tobias, NE 68453
Phone: (402) 821-2689
Website (a mission of St. Wenceslaus Parish, Wilber, NE): https://stwenceslauswilber.org
Current Pastor: Rev. Robert Barnhill
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Gosen, Sister Loretta. History of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska 1887-1987. The Catholic Bishop of Lincoln, Inc. 1986.
Kucera, Vladimir, Editor. Submitted by Mrs. Joseph Baxa, Sr. Compiled by Mrs. W.J. Novak from older parish members including Nicholas Markey Sr., Frank Rut, Mrs. Sadie Markey, Miss Ann Sakryt, Edward Murphy, William Laun, Henry Lorenz, and Mrs. Joseph Baxa Sr. Czech Churches in Nebraska. Nebraska Czechs Inc., 1976.
Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture Incorporated. Saline County Reconnaissance Level Survey prepared for Nebraska State Historical Society. Omaha. 2015.
Catholic Encyclopedia – Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07163a.htm
Christian Iconography – Sacred Heart of Jesus – https://www.christianiconography.info/sacredHeart.html
Infant Jesus of Prague, Official Site – https://www.pragjesu.cz/en
Southern Nebraska Register – March 28, 2014 – https://www.lincolndiocese.org/news/diocesan-news/1858-st-joseph-church-in-tobias-rededicated-for-100th-anniversary