Marak has roots in church and families

This art icle cont inues the series on cemeteries and rural communities.

Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Cemetery is located in northern Milam County.

Frank Marak immigrated to Texas in 1856. After a few years in Fayette, County, he went in search of good farm land.

In 1882, he moved his family in covered wagons and built block dwellings in the area known to today as Marak.

This family, which included three sons, George, Stephen and Thomas, worked the land.

News of Marak’s farm land discovery spread quickly and other Czech immigrants settled in this same area of the county.

Marak donated one acre of land for a Catholic cemetery, referred today as the “Old Cemetery.” Its first burial was Clara Marak in 1886.

In November, 1903, parishioners built a new church.

Jeri and Thomas Marak donated two tower bells in 1904. These bells rang at morning, noon and night and the community knelt down and prayed.

The bells were also rung when a death in the community occurred.

On the 25th anniversary of the community, the parishioners wanted a new cemetery.

John Gurecky and wife donated two acres of land in thanksgiving of their 25th wedding anniversary.

That cemetery had a wooden cross that held the body of Christ. The cross eventually deteriorated.

It was replaced with another cross donated by John Vanza.

A chain link fence and additional acreage has been added to the cemetery. In 2002 a new brick and metal fence was installed at the entrance.

Early communities were known for organizing their church and seeing to the needs of their families.

In 1909 living quarters were built to house the Sisters of the church. A school was built in 1925 and served the area until 1953.

In 1949 the old church was moved in the school area and remodeled into a building that could accommodate church gatherings and social events.

By 1965, and after the school closed, these two buildings were combined.

Since that time the hall has been remodeled adding air and heat, kitchen and restrooms facilities.

This church has been upgraded and maintained by its parishioners and on Oct. 14, 1994, Representative Dan Kubiak spoke at the Texas Historic Marker Dedication.

The church celebrated its 100th year anniversary in 2004 with a service of “Growing in Faith and Family Spirit.”

Marak Homecoming Picnic, which began in 1894, is held annually to support the church.

With their Czech heritage, what could better describe “a community that works together stays together?”

Research: “Celebrating 100 Years of Growing in Faith and Family Spirit”—Cecilia Hubnik Marak

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2010-04-15 digital edition

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