The annual Christmas on the Prairie Concert is this Sunday afternoon at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Hoven.
The stunning Gothic/Romanesque cathedral, which can seat 1000 in a town of under 600, is a prairie treasure never far from the shadows cast by de-ruralization, and the frostbitten hands of time.
The cathedral’s twin 140-foot towers, built in 1921, soar over Hoven. The interior is decorated with thirty-one intricately detailed stained glass windows and hundreds of stenciled designs.
The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and would deserve a place there were it in Manhattan or Hoven, but maintenance in the latter has its own set of challenges.
In recent years, the parish has managed some major renovations — most significantly a major overhaul of the slate shingle roof. And the Cathedral has gone green — St. Anthony’s has converted to geothermal heat, making it more financially and environmentally sustainable.
Hopefully, these preparations will help the cathedral to serve as many, and more, generations as it already has.
And if you need a Christmas Spirit booster, stepping from the Potter County steppe into St. Anthony's ornately decorated nave for an orchestral celebration of the season is like a doubleshot of spiritual egg nog.