St. Wenceslaus Church, Wilber, NE

The picturesque St. Wenceslaus Church sits in a lot protected by cedar trees on the north side of the historic Czech-enclave of Wilber, Nebraska. The parish participates in community activities including the 60th annual Czech Festival (August 6-8, 2021). The parish held fundraisers during the festival selling fresh-baked kolaches and a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. Read more about the festival at nebraskaczechsofwilber.com

The church supports the promulgation of the Czech heritage with many artifacts of saints from the area of Europe where many of the parishioners’ ancestors immigrated from. The building is clean and quiet with abundant sunshine warming the pews from the colorful stained-glass windows lining the east and west side walls. The church is definitely worth a visit on a trip to the Czech capital of Nebraska and of the U.S.A. Masses are held on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.

Address: 501 N Wilson, Wilber, NE 68465
Phone: (402) 821-2689
Website: https://stwenceslauswilber.org
Current Pastor: Rev. Robert Barnhill

References
All websites were accessed on or about 8-3-2021 and are considered to be useful, reliable and secure, but users should view the websites at their own discretion. The author or the website https://churchwonders.com is not responsible for those sites’ code or content.

Books
Kucera, Vladimir, Editor. Written by Mrs. Floyd Herman, Edited and additional comments by Larry L. Vilda. Czech Churches in Nebraska. Nebraska Czechs Inc., 1976.

Rose, Rosicky. A History of Czechs (Bohemians) in Nebraska. National Printing Company, Omaha, Nebraska. 1929.

Websites
British Library, European Studies Blog – https://blogs.bl.uk/european/2013/09/st-ludmila-patroness-of-bohemia-.html

Catholic Diocese of Lincoln – https://www.lincolndiocese.org/directory/parishes/797-st-wenceslaus-wilber

Catholic Encyclopedia – https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08467a.htm, St. Ludmila – https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09416a.htm

Catholic Online – https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=39

Infant Jesus of Prague, Official Site – https://www.pragjesu.cz/en

Liturgical arts journal – https://www.liturgicalartsjournal.com/2018/01/the-altar-and-its-canopy-ciborium.html

Church Architecture and Grounds – St. Wenceslaus Church, Wilber, NE

The stone-faced rectangular church with an attached belltower sits on a large lot edged by cedar trees planted in 1950, shortly after of the building of the church, by the father of the popular priest Fr. Jerry Pokorny. Half-turrets extend on either side of the building wherein are prayerful statues and candle stands.

Sanctuary and Main Altar – St. Wenceslaus Church, Wilber, NE

The sanctuary and altar at the north end of the building are physically demarcated by white tile flooring which is elevated by two steps above the seating area. A wood canopy (also known as a baldachin or ciborium) hangs over the altar to emphasize the importance and centrality of the altar within the church where the sacrifice of the Cross is made present.

Infant Jesus of Prague – St. Wenceslaus Church, Wilber, NE

In the west alcove of the seating area is another image special to the Czech people, a statue of Infant Jesus of Prague. The statue in this church is a lovely image of the Infant King dressed in white with decorative gold-leaf engraving and a red cape also with gold engraving. The regal red and gold crown is capped with a cross-topped orb and the sacred Infant’s right hand is raised in supplication while He holds a blue globe with a golden cross in His left hand.

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