Maxwell church celebrates 100 years


The small cathedral church with Romanesque features known as The Sacred Heart Church in Maxwell, celebrated its 100th anniversary on Saturday.

Established in 1881 by Father Michael Wallrath as a mission, the church gained a following and by 1911, the church became a Parish with missions in Williams, Stonyford and Arbuckle.

At the time, the new church was the largest in the county with the exception of the Colusa Catholic church.

One of Sacred Hearts most unique features is that of nine hand painted, stained glass windows and the choir loft which is known for being the backbone of church services.
The present day Church located on Elm Street in Maxwell was re-built in 1917.

“The Sacred Heart Church is a centerpiece of our town,” said Maxwell resident, Leo LaGrande.

Over a hundred members of the church gathered Saturday for a special mass, followed by a luncheon at the Maxwell American Legion Hall.

Family, friends and church members gathered to feast on tri-tip, salad, rice and bread; while LaGrande, delivered a centennial history of events.

“In 1892, the first bazaar was held and admission was $.25,” he said. “The event featured an one act play, guitar and harmonica solos and lots of dancing. The Catholic Bizarre still holds this event to this day.”

Among those in attendance, is the church’s longest members, Marie Spooner and Ginny Azevedo.

“I feel honored to be a 77-year member of the church,” said Spooner. “I was a Maxwell resident for 55 years, Maxwell will always be my home.”
Spooner said all of her kids were baptized and confirmed at the chruch.

“After 40 years of marriage, my vows were renewed here with my late husband Chet,,” said Spooner.

Azevedo said, “It was a great day and I am blessed to be a member of this church for 72 years now.”

Information on The Sacred Heart Church can be found at ■