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Archives Items from closed churches going to New Mexico

Sept. 25, 2019

By Eileen Greenwood
Contributing writer

CARTHAGE – It all began with an entry in eNotes submitted by Father Donald J. Manfred that began, “Items for Use in Parishes: First come, first served!”

St. Henry’s Church in Natural Bridge had religious items available at the “low, low price of picking them up!” Following the closing of St. Henry’s, many of the religious items were still in very good condition and needed new homes.

The eNotes entry that appeared this past Summer caught the attention of Margaret Woods, a bookkeeper for St. James Minor Church in Carthage, who felt the urge to act. Included in the ad were items such as Stations of The Cross, Statues of the Sacred Heart, The Infant Prague, Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. In addition, there were also several padded kneelers, pews and two altars, one with a tabernacle.

Woods knew of someone in New Mexico who just might welcome the sacramental items. She made contact with her sister Maria, and Maria’s husband Deacon Kenneth Quade, who live in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

“When I saw the ad from Father Manfred, the Holy Spirit told me to call Maria,” Woods said. “I knew how grateful the people would be.”

It took very little time for Deacon Kenneth and Maria to respond with excitement! Yes, they would love to receive those items for several small parishes in the area they are serving in New Mexico. The items would be welcomed and used by several parishes, including a church which had previously burned.

Woods began a mission to help.

Various items from churches that have closed in the diocese of Ogdensburg are currently being collected by Woods, who plans to drive to New Mexico with her husband and the truckload of items. It is a solution that benefits both the recipient and the giver. These church pieces are not just garage sale items, but many have emotional and historical meaning to parishioners of the parishes donating them.

Woods mentioned that when St. Rita’s church closed, several statues from the church were returned to the families that donated them. One statue, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has been restored and is being sent to New Mexico along with a typed, laminated description of where the piece originated and how it had been used. In this way, the historical and emotional value of the piece is preserved and goes with it to its next home.

Deacon Kenneth Quade, brother-in-law to Margaret Woods, served in the Air Force and then studied to be a Deacon in New Mexico. He plans to serve for 10 years in the parish, where they raised their family. He is currently in his fourth year in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Margaret Woods and her husband, Greg, plan to pay the cost of driving the truck to New Mexico themselves. Considering the amount of work in planning and carrying out this mission. The couple welcomes donations to offset the cost. Donations could be sent to Margaret Woods at St. James Minor Church in Carthage. They also ask for prayers for safe travel.

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