HISTORY OF ST. ANN’S CHURCH IN 1913, NOW IN JANUARY 2012 KNOWN AS ST. PHILIP BENIZI MISSION CHURCH
The first Catholic families arrived in Cedaredge during the early 1880’s when Surface Creek Valley was sparsely settled and the roads were hardly more than trails.
The James McHugh family came in 1886 and settled on the first ranch north of Trickle bridge. Later, the Zanzinetti and Lovato families arrived.
The first priests to minister to the Catholic families were missionaries, Fathers Cook and Lawrence. They traveled by horse and buggy and the length of time it took to reach Cedaredge made an overnight stay necessary. Mass was usually celebrated in the McHugh home once or twice a year.
In 1906 Father O’Ferrell was pastor at Montrose. One of the two automobiles in Delta county was owned by the Hartig family and they would drive Father O’Ferrell to Cedaredge once or twice a year.
Between 1908 and 1910 five more Catholic families arrived in the area. They were the Walch, Smethurst, W.S. Grant, Fred Goff and Eli Ginter families. During the years from 1910 and 1912, Mass was celebrated in the schoolhouse, Cedaredge Hall or in the old Odd Fellow’s hall which was across the street from the bank’s present location.
St. Michael’s Church in Delta was built in 1911, and Father Nicholas Bertrand who was the pastor, came up to Cedaredge.
The first Catholic church in Cedaredge was built as a dwelling and was purchased from Mr. Wagman in 1912. Priests who succeeded Father Bertrand were Fathers Erger, Hilbig, Minot, Joseph Kane, Gilleck and Norman.
By 1958 about fifteen Catholic families were in the Cedaredge area and the little church was almost filled to capacity each Sunday.
Now St. Ann’s became St. Philip’s. The name was changed because $12,000 of the building funds were provided by the Extension Society. By tradition, the donor was privileged to name the new church.
St. Philip’s was dedicated on Sunday, September 22, 1968, with Bishop Charles Buswell officiating, assisted by Father Daniel Huber. Following the dedication, Mass was celebrated in the new church, after which the public was invited to “Open House.”
Since its construction, memorial funds and plaques for deceased members have been contributed. In this way, the church was provided with a new organ, Stations of the Cross and a lovely golden chalice.
Father Harold Ginter, son of Eli Ginter, ordained a priest on June 13, 1929. When he retired, he spent several years working at St. Philip’s. On July 17, 1974 he died and within the year his sister, Delorosa Ginter also passed away. She too, had contributed much time and service to the church.
In the fall of 1983, construction began on a catechetical center and an addition to the church sanctuary area. Approximately $85,000 was spent on the addition with funds coming from existing monies, a loan, and a fund drive which began in 1981. A Grand Junction firm, Chamberlin Architects was responsible for development and construction of the building project.
On June 22, 1984, Bishop Arthur Tafoya dedicated the new hall which was named St.
Ann’s after the original church. Following the dedication, the parishioners were
invited to “Open House” and a pot-