On a visit to the Ecka church in 2010, Mary Ann Hueser obtained a brief German language history of the church. She has summarized and translated that history below.
Translated by M. Hueser 2010
Brief History of Ecka Catholic Church
1793 – Ecka Catholic Church founded by Janos Lazar (1757-1809), eldest son of
estate owner, Lukacs Lazar.
1794 – Building of the first church started because of the immigration of Bulgarians
and the quick growing number of Catholics.
1798 – The rectory was built.
The first church stood in the same place as the present church.
It was made of earth and covered with reeds.
1793-1797 – The first priest was Johann Chrysostomus Gubanoczy.
1797-1799 – The priest was Michael Jancso.
1799-1825 – The first installed priest was Josef Nagy.
– The Germans settled here during this period.
1810 – The newly established communities of Zsigmondfalva and Lukacsfalva were
joined to the Ecka Parish.
1811 – Agoston Lazar (1768-1833) enlarged the church and a bell tower was built,
and the roof was covered with shingles.
1825 – Death of Josef Nagy.
1825-1834 – The priest was Anton Millasin.
1834 – Death of Father Millasin.
1834-1851 – The priest was Heinrich Kummer.
9 April 1836 – A village fire burnt 60 houses to the ground as well as burning the
– Father Kummer and the parishioners saved all the pictures and liturgical
1836 – Two of the fire damaged bells were forged into one large bell and put in the
1836-1864 – The temporary church had the roof tiled and was used for masses for 28 years.
1864 – General Sigmund Lazar (1801-1870) had a new church built.
1851-1874 – Village priest was Karl Krist.
Ing. Kansky designed the plan for the new church.
Stevan Djordjevic of Betschkerek oversaw the builders.
1862 – The foundation of the new church was built on the same spot as the old
– The old church remained during the building of the new church in the center
of the new building.
August 1864 – The final mass was celebrated in the old church.
– The old church was demolished and the materials were taken out through the
doors of the new church.
18 September 1864 – The consecration of the new church and bells by Bishop Alexander Bonnaz of
– A celebration mass was held and the Bishop presided o confirmation.
– Before the celebration, General Lazar was presented with the Order of Saint
George from Pope Pius IX.
– As a gift to the new church, Victorina Lazar (1841-1895), the wife of the
General, gave a valuable Baldachin (canopy) decorated with expensive
stitching which she had made herself.
1868 – On the occasion of the birth of Marianne Lazar (1867-1893), a cross with a
stone foundation was put up by the main entrance of the church.
In the new church, beside the bell, there also were 12 pictures which were the
reproduced works of a Flemish painter of the 17th century. These pictures showed:
The Picture of Christ; The Holy Family; The Sermon on the Mount of the Eight
Beatitudes; Saint Theresia; The Descent From the Cross; The Birth of Christ;
The Mother of God; Saint Nepomuk; Saint Francis of Assisi; The Holy Trinity;
Saint Joseph; and Christ on the Cross.
In the church was also found the 14 Stations of the Cross.
1862-1864 – The Dutch painter, Adolf van der Venne (1828-1911) stayed temporarily in
Ecka, and painted three large pictures: The Baptism of Christ; Judith
(Viktorine Lazar was used as a model); and Saint Elisabeth of Hungary
(after a picture of Elisabeth Edelspacher, the mother of General Lazar.)
1874 – Death of Karl Krist.
1874-1897 – The priest was Johann Weitersheim and his assistant Karl Neurohr.
1 August 1893 – The community of Ecka celebrated it’s centenary.
– For the occasion, Probst-Dechant Franz Henry of Werschetz celebrated mass.
– The new pipe organ was played by the village teacher Josef Kirchner.
During its first 100 years, the Parish had 14369 baptisms, 3151 marriages, and
1895 – Bishop Alexander Dessewfy of Csanad visited the parish of Ecka.
1897 – Adalbert Kogel (1897-1917) took over the parish.
1907 – Felix Harnoncourt finished the work on the church facade, and at the same
time the enclosure of the church square was made possible.
– It had taken 42 years after the death of the contractor Stevan Djordjevic to
finally complete the facade.
1910 – The parish was visited by Bishop Dr. Johann Csernoch of Temesvar.
12 May 1912 – The parish was visited by Bishop Dr. Julius Glattfelder of Csanad.
1911 – A candle burnt the left corner of the high alter picture of the Baptism of Christ.
– Felix Harnoncourt commissioned the picture to be restored by Stevan Aleksic.
11 November 1916 – In the third year of the war, three bells from the steeple were taken and had to
be used for military purposes.
1917 – Near the end of the war, Father Ludwig Griffel took over the parish and stayed
1929 – Archbishop Rafael Rodic visited while enroute to Gross-Betschkerek. He
stopped to look at the church, and at the request of the priest, he returned the
next day to hold confirmation.
– The Archbishop was received by Father Ludwig Griffel and Stefan Klein who
had been the church cantor for 60 years.
After the second world war ended, the number of Catholics in Ecka quickly declined.
During the war, part of the church’s property and all of it’s documents were lost.
Of the 12 pictures of the unknown Flemish painter, only four remained: The Holy
Family; St. Anton of Padua – The Descent From the Cross; St. Francis of Assisi; and
The Sermon on the Mount of the Eight Beatitudes. In 1965, these pictures came under
Today, there are approximately 50 parishioners in the church community of Ecka.
Since 1944, masses are said by the priest in Muzlja.
The last renovation of the church happened in 1927
Ecka, June 1973 Church Community of Ecka