Rise and fall of a Danube-Swabian place of worship in Banat                  

 

    On November 1st 1977 the Rudolfsgnad church would have been 100 years old, if it still existed. With its destruction in autumn of 1944, began the fall of the once flourishing pure-German settlement Rudolfsgnad on the Theiss  River, opposite from Titel. The church served the believers for only 67 years. This place of worship still exists in the memory of all Rudolfsgnaders. 

    Rudolfsgnad was, with few exceptions, a catholic parish, belonged in church relationship to the Csanad  bishopric and the Weisskirch  Dekanat  district. Administratively the municipality was constituent of the Torontaler Komitat and belonging to the Betschkerek  central justice system. The Segedin  building contractor (Architect) Josef Kowatsch accepted the building (construction) contract and was able to bring the nave under the roof by onset of the 1876 flood and raised the masonry up to the height of the steeple. During the time of the 1876 inundation various church-building material, scaffolding and other things were used to stem the floodwaters. 

In his novel “The Bells of the Homeland" (“Glocken der Heimat”), Adam Mueller- Gutenbrunn gives a dramatic description of the inundation of Rudolfsgnad, which he however calls Karlsdorf. Since Karlsdorf is not situated at the Theiss River, Gutenbrunn’s descriptions partly apply to Rudolfsgnad.

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Consecration (Dedication) of the church (Kirchweih) in Rudolfsgnad

 

   They all suffered greatly, the Swabian Colonists, but hardly any other community was hit quite as hard as Rudolfsgnad on the Theiss River, close to the Danube River delta. The joy therefore was great, when the church built in the gothic style, could be dedicated to the holy Catharine on November 1st 1877. The Rudolfsgnaders found their church beautiful and were proud of it. At the front of the tower was a red marble slab with the inscription: "In memory of the 25th anniversary of the reign of his majesty the emperor and king Franz Josef I. The Grateful Community." Church and inscription were to be a lasting memorial by the grateful inhabitants to the illustrious founder of the flourishing parish. The large and beautiful altarpiece, representing Christ’s Resurrection, was a gift of the blessed bishop Bonnaz. The remaining church furnishings were provided by the members of the parish and by voluntary donations.

The particularly good and large organ was a masterpiece of the famous organ builder Josef Angster from Fuenfkirchen. The high altar, likewise in the gothic style, was a  successful work by Leo Werl from Wuerzburg