I rejoiced when they said to me. "Let us go to the house of the Lord." - Psalm 122:1

Parish History

FounadtionWith the Catholic population around the area of Broughton expanding rapidly, Father Hertzog helped Nativity become an independent parish and in September 1910, when the mission was raised to parish status, Father Charles Joseph Hintzen was appointed pastor.

Prior to being appointed to Nativity Parish, Father Hintzen was Assistant Pastor at St. Peter's on the South Side. He and his sister, Josephine, rented a second floor apartment on Old Brownsville Road. The church seated about 200 people and on Sundays, Masses were at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Father Hintzen worked very hard and had everyone's cooperation. Along with his religious duties, he founded a Harvest Picnic which became an annual event for area farmers who came to share their food. All of the parishioners, especially the farmers, brought everything that was needed. Nothing had to be bought. To raise money, the parishioners constructed a large fancy booth to display their beautiful hand-made scarves. Non-Catholics helped also. Charles Kirschman, the town butcher and non-Catholic, always donated all the meat that was needed. Mr. Harry Goldman, a Jewish merchant, always made substantial donations to help the parish. Being poor made little difference to the people - everyone seemed to enjoy working for the church they wanted so much. This picnic was always a big family event, even though there were times that some people were really too poor to even come.

The statistics for the year 1910 were: 4 marriages, 88 baptisms, 100 families. 526 parishioners and 28 deaths.

Hugo MassIn 1911, a new brick rectory was built, one that has served many uses over the years. The church and the parish house continued to thrive for a number of years. However, tragedy struck on Monday, February 25, 1918. At 2:30 a.m., a neighbor discovered that the church was on fire. He awakened Father Hintzen who rushed over to the church only to find the frame building was a mass of flames. In trying to reach the Sanctuary, Father Hintzen was burned on the hands and face. The Blessed Sacrament, Vestments, Sacred Vessels and the church furniture were all destroyed.

The roof of the rectory also caught fire. It was saved from destruction only through the work of the Volunteer Fire Department of Broughton. Parish books and records were saved but there was considerČable fire damage to the rectory. Father Hintzen obtained temporary shelter at St. Basil's Rectory in Carrick through the courtesy of Father Steppling, the Pastor. Mass was held in the Moose Hall and Lambs Hall for several years.

In June, 1918, Father William Speigel became the next Pastor of Nativity and a new brick church was built under his direction. However, it only had a capacity for 300 people.