43-470 Istebna
E-mail: dobrypasterz.istebna@gmail.com
Web site: http://www.dobrypasterz-istebna.eu
Phone: +48 33 855-60-30
Category: Sacred
Place:  Istebna
The beginnings of the Istebna parish go back to the sixteenth century. For 200 years, the Istebna village was a part of the Jabłonków parish. Currently, Jabłonków is on the other side of the border, in the Czech Republic. The local highlanders (górale) went to the Jabłonków church only several times during the year, on mayor holidays. It was due to long distance and rough weather conditions, especially in wintertime.
In 1716, a Jesuit Father, Leopold Tempes, came to Jabłonków and started here his pastoral work. Initially, he held masses in the open air or in a tent. A stone slab propped on wooden logs served him as an altar. The altar was situated between two lime trees, at the foot of the Złoty Groń hill, in the Kohuty hamlet. In 1720, górale from Istebna and Jaworzynka with the help of soldiers from Szańce Jabłonkowskie built their own wooden church, which served them for 74 years. The church was furnished owing to the efforts of Father Tempes. Various people donated most of the items, for example; Countess Sunegk offered a sculpted cross and the picture of St Barbra.
The first picture of Good Shepherd was painted by Antonim Birgerski and currently it is placed at the end of a right matroneum (gallery). Later, the church was demolished, and a park establishment with a figure of the Holy Mother was located on its site. The only remaining parts from the old church are: a wooden beam with an inscription “the year of 1720”, which is placed over the entrance to the current church, and a cross that hangs in a side altar. The cross was sculpted in lime wood by unknown artists. The legend says that they were the students of Veit Stoss as the similar cross can be seen in the St Mary’s Basilica in Kraków. Later, the cross was decorated with grapevine resembling metalwork, but in fact, the decoration was sculpted in wood by Ludwik Konarzewski Senior (1885 – 1954) and his students. The existing church was built between 1792 and 1794 and was consecrated on 24 August 1794.
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