Sacred Heart 

Our History


Before 1910 the pastors of St. Patrick’s parish of North Platte ministered to the spiritual needs of the Catholics in the Sutherland, Paxton areas. For a while the pastors of Sidney cared for this area. After 1913, when St. Luke’s parish of Ogallala was established, Mass was offered at irregular intervals in Sutherland, which then became a mission attached to Ogallala in the early part of the 1900’s.
Among the priests who served the people of this area were Fathers Haley, Carroll, and Patrick McDaid of North Platte; Fathers T.D. Sullivan, James Dobson, and Aloysius Kampmann of Sidney; and Fathers T.P. Molony, Cornelius McLaughlin and Patrick Sloan of Ogallala.
In 1922 the first Sacred Heart Church in Sutherland was built at a cost of $2,700 under the direction of Fr. Patrick Sloan. Bishop James Duffy dedicated it on the Feast of the Sacred Heart on June 23, 1922. 
In August of 1922, the missions of Paxton and Sutherland were made into separate parishes with Sutherland being chosen as the place for the resident pastor. In the spring of 1923 a rectory was purchased for the parish rectory. In the fall of 1928, additional property was purchased, giving the parish five acres of property.
The first recorded baptism in this church was that of Dorothy Minahan; the first marriage was James Boyle and Esther Guffey; the first funeral was for Nellie Marie Woodrow.
Fr. Alphonse Gasser served as the first resident pastor serving from the fall of 1922 until his death on December 4th, 1931. Fr. Francis J. Tschida who served until August of 1938 followed Fr. Gasser. Fr. Joseph Muldoon was assisted by Fr. Anthony Radziewicz for a while.
In the summer of 1949 Fr. Constantine J. Shumski was appointed pastor until August of 1961. During this time the present church was built and dedicated in 1954. On April 26, 1955 Bishop John L. Paschang dedicated the present rectory. The combined cost of the church and rectory was $120,000.
Sacred Heart parish became a mission of Holy Spirit in 2003 with Fr. Art Faesser as Pastor. In 20XX Fr. Jim Novakoski becane our priest until his passing in April 2018. 
At the present time our parish pastor is Fr. Sagar.


Fr. Alphonse Gasser – 1922-1931

Fr. Francis J. Tschida – 1931-1938

Fr. Constantine J. Shumski – 1949-1961

Fr. James Kremeier – 1966-1967

Fr. Gerald J. Harr – 1967-1973                           

Fr. Gerald Carlson – 1973-1981

Fr. Jacob Bauer – 1981-1990

Fr. Thomas Dillon – 1990-1998

Fr. James Janovec – 1998-2003

Fr. Art Faesser – 2003-2007

Fr. Jerry Wetovick – 2010-2013

Fr. Jim Novakowski – 2007- April 2018

Fr. Vidya Sagar Arikotla – June 2018 – present


Our Lady of Guadalupe


Before 1910 the pastors of St. Patrick’s parish in North Platte ministered to the spiritual needs of the Catholic living in the western part of Lincoln County, the eastern part of Keith County, and even parts of what is now Perkins County. For a few years, the pastors of Sidney cared for the district. For a few years there was no church in Hershey.
During the years many Spanish-speaking families settled in Hershey. Due to lack of transportation many had no way of attending Mass. With great foresight, Bishop John L. Paschang asked Father C.J. Shumski to build a mission church in Hershey to accommodate the needs of the people. Father Shumski asked Dell Brownfield, then postmaster and mayor of Hershey, to see if he could find some land north of the tracks where the old Sutherland Church could be moved. Mr. Browfield approached Mr, Waude Rouche, who owned some lots of the north side of town. When Mr. Rouche found out the plans and lack of funds for purchasing the lots, he generously donated them for the Catholic Church. Because it was impossible to get permission from the Highway Department to move the old church from Sutherland, and also because the cost prohibitive, a schoolhouse south of Sutherland was purchased and moved to Hershey where it was completely renovated. The establishment of the new mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe made possible by a gift of $5,000 from the Catholic Church Extension Society, the generous donations of friends, and the sacrifices of the local congregation. Father Edward Jaworowski visited Mexico and donated a beautiful picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which gave the present name of the church. The picture hangs in the present church today. The building was finished in November of 1959 and Fr. Shumski offered the first mass on November 22, 1959, The church was blest and dedicated by Bishop Paschang on may 8,1960. The first church had 40 families registered in the parish. After 25 years, a need for a larger church because necessary to accommodate the growing parish. On October 27, 1984, groundbreaking ceremonies were help. The new church was built East of the old building on ground that generously donated by the “Brown Brothers” family.
With the completion of the new church, dedication ceremonies were help on September 19,1985, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the parish.



November 22,1959 – First mass offered by Fr. Shumski
May 8,1960 – First church building was Blest and dedication by Bishop Paschang
1961-1966 – Father Walter Phelan
1966-1967 – Father James Kremeier
1967-1973 – Father Gerald J. Harr
1973-1981 – Father Gerald J. Carlson
1977-1981 – Sister Ester Fehinger
1981-1982 – Father Jacob F. Bauer
1981-1988 – OLG becomes a mission of Holy Spirit of North Platte
1982-1986 – Father Bryan Ernest
1986-1988 – Father Ernest Murillo
1982-1988 – Father Frank Hoelck
1988-1992 – Father Joseph Hannappel
1988-1993 – Father Robert Karnish
1992-1993 – Father Paul Colling
1993-2001 – OLG, again becomes a mission of Sacred Heart of Sutherland
1993-1998 – Father Thomas Dillon
1998-2003 – Father James Janovec
2003-2007 – Father Art Faesser
2004–OLG no longer has Sunday Mass with Eucharist but still holds Faith Formation Classes
2007–OLG again becomes a mission of Holy Spirit of North Platte
2007– April 2018 – Father Jim Novakowski
2010- 2013 – Father Jerry Wetovick
September 2016-May 2018 – Deacon Michael Davis celebrated Service of the Word with Eucharist Wednesday nights for OLG community and Faith Formation students.
June 2018 – Present – Fr. Vidya Sagar Arikotla