St. Francis Borgia Parish, Blair, NE
When the city of Blair was founded in 1869, the first Catholic settlers of the town were served by traveling missionary priests who would say Masses at the train depot, at the town hotel, or in various private homes. Within two years of Blair’s founding, in 1871, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was organized to serve the Catholics of the town.
The majority of parishioners in Blair originally were railroad men who were interested in building the railroads to serve the western half of the country. They contributed a great deal of time and money to building the first church building in Blair. It cost $1,000 to build and was located at what is now 15th and Colfax Street in Blair.
The parish was incorporated in 1886 and renamed St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Blair, in speculation because of Jesuit missionary influence in the area (St. Francis Borgia being one the greatest Jesuit saints.) Three years later, the second church building was constructed, to accommodate increased membership at the same location. Its cost was $4,000 with many donations coming from non-Catholic friends. The rectory was added in 1900.
During the 1950s the membership of St. Francis Borgia Parish grew considerably, moving the parish to the third largest religious denomination in Blair. It was at this time that the third and present church was built, at the current location of 20th and Davis Street. This building was dedicated in 1959. A separate education building was added in 1974 for the grade school religious education program; the high school program also made use of it beginning in 1986.
St. Francis Borgia grew rapidly again during the 1980s and has continued to grow to approximately 450 families.Between 1999 and 2000, St. Francis added a social hall large enough to hold over 200 people. With the many events that have been held in the social hall, it has benefited not only the members of the parish but the community as well.
If you would like more information about our parish and what programs are available to our parishioners, feel free to call our parish office at 402-426-3823. You are welcome at St. Francis Borgia.
God Bless You!