A statue of Father Paul Fangman, a well-known clergyman in Boone and Antelope counties, will be unveiled this Thursday, Feb. 23, by the National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia, KS.
Ceremonies will be held at 5:15 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, as they museum welcomes Father Fangman to the Orphan Train Town. They are inviting any residents of the Albion, Petersburg, Raeville, Elgin, Spalding or surrounding areas who knew the unforgettable Father Fangman, to join in this celebration.
Paul J. Fangman was born on Oct. 25, 1922 in New York State. He came by orphan train to Nebraska in 1923 and was adopted at nine months of age by Andrew and Anna (Halbur) Fangman. He attended grade school and high school at St. John Berchmans in Raeville, NE and graduated in 1940. He attended St. Lawrence College at Mt. Calvary, WI for three years, studied his philosophy requirements at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary in St. Louis, MO, and completed his thological course at Kenrich Seminary in St. Louis, MO.
Fr. Paul Fangman was ordained on April 25, 1949 at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha, NE, by Archbishop Gerald T. Bergan D.D. He celebrated his first Solemn High Mass at St. Bonaventure’s Church on May 2, 1949 at Raeville, NE. He served as parish priest in many Nebraska communities.
Father Paul always embraced his Orphan Train heritage. He was an avid member of the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, and traveled all over to attend reunions, including New York City. While in New York City, Father Paul learned of his birth family.
Father Paul Fangman, lifelong Catholic and dedicated Catholic Priest, discovered that he had been born Jewish. He found humor in this.
Unveiling of the statue in honor of Fr. Paul is scheduled Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Concordia.
More details in the Feb. 22 Albion News and Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.