The following story appeared in the February 24 Idaho Catholic Register.
Camas Prairie residents support Holy Cross Chapel in Keuterville with a yearly dinner and raffle. This year's event is planned for Sunday, March 19. (Courtesy photo/Maureen Munger)
By Maureen Munger
for the Idaho Catholic Register
KEUTERVILLE – It is time to look forward once again to the 45th annual St. Mary’s/Holy Cross Parish Dinner. Beginning in March, you can count on the scents of roast beef, ham, homemade potatoes, rolls and desserts wafting from the Keuterville Hall. This year’s dinner is scheduled for Sunday, March 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Keuterville a small community, tucked away in the foothills of Cottonwood Butte, has a rich history.
Holy Cross Chapel was the first Catholic Church on the Camas Prairie. Construction began in 1885 and finished in 1886, the first structure measuring 26 x 36 feet and 16 feet high. A Catholic parish in the area enticed many Catholic German farmers to emigrate to the area from the Midwestern states.
Initially, the church was a Jesuit mission called St. Peter’s. When the bishop at the time blessed the new building, it became “Sacred Heart Church.”
In 1897, a second church was built to replace the first, but it burned down May 1911. The same year, dedicated parishioners built a third building, which is the current church we use today. When it came time to bless the new church, the bishop said there were too many Sacred Heart churches in the Diocese, so he renamed the church “Holy Cross.”
In 1997, Holy Cross Parish in Keuterville merged with St. Mary’s Parish of Cottonwood so that they could be served by one priest. Today, the beautiful historic building is used for weddings, funerals and special occasions throughout the year. We have been blessed in recent years with a summer months evening Mass at 7 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Over the past 112 years, Keuterville residents and other parishioners from across the Prairie enjoy using the old church. They appreciate the beauty of the antique altars that were made in Germany and shipped to Idaho. Sitting in the pews gives you a sense of a more ornate era of quality craftsmanship.
We hope that on March 19, you will celebrate the coming of spring by taking a Sunday drive to Keuterville. You’ll enjoy the beautiful scenic view of the Seven Devils mountain range, meet up with some friends, play Bingo, enjoy a homemade dinner and perhaps win a raffle prize. Most important, your support will help maintain this charming and nostalgic structure. Ticket prices are $13 for adults and $6 for those in grades K-6. Admission is free for younger children.
Keuterville is one of the hidden treasures in the rich history of Idaho County. Don’t miss out!
If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.