Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, February 16, 1998

Recalling the Holy Trinity Diamond Jubilee

The following account of Church of the Holy Trinity's diamond jubilee in June 1944 was submitted by a reader for others' interest:

On the morning of the Diamond Jubilee observance on June 4, Holy Trinity church was the scene of what was very likely the most solemn and most colorful ceremony anyone has witnessed within its sacred walls.

It was the Solemn Pontifical High mass sung by His Excellency Archbishop John Gregory Murray, S.T.D., along with all the pomp and splendor that the rites and liturgy of Holy Mother the Church could provide.

The singing of the two choirs, the ceremony itself, all centered around the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the mass ­ the sacrifice which the faithful offered up to God with the celebrant in thanksgiving for all the blessings bestowed upon the parish and parishioners for the past 75 years at the same time, asking that He continue to bless them and watch over them in the years to come.

To many who witnessed the ceremony and followed it devoutly these sacred words must have come to their mind: "This is the Day the Lord hath made."

We will try to give you a clear picture of what actually took place on the morning of that memorable day. At ten o'clock the three bells of the church began harmoniously to ring out announcing the beginning of the festive occasion.

They already had announced the Jubilee day itself at six o'clock p.m. on the evening before when for fully 15 minutes all the bells in the church steeple gave out the glad tidings that on the morrow the parish was to commemorate a great event.

On the Jubilee day the bells again rang as the procession which had formed at the rectory began to wend its way toward the church. It was led by the thurifer William J. Wey, of St. Cloud, nephew of Father Wey, and by Mr. Felix Fasching, second master of ceremonies, for that day.

Four torchbearers, Ambrose Mahon, Gerald Sterner, Ray Kohler, and Jackie Fasching followed. Next came a group of some 35

Seminarians vested in cassocks and surplices. Then came the crossbearer, Harold Henfling accompanied by the two acolytes, Cecil Roufs and Gerald Keefe. These were followed by the major officers of the mass, the Archpriest, Reverend Andrew J. Rinke, of Cologne; the sub-deacon of the mass, Reverend Henry B. Geisenkoetter, of Rosen; the deacon of the mass, Reverend Henry A Sterner, of Springfield; the master of ceremonies, the Very Reverend Hilary B. Hacker and the deacons of honor, Reverend Andrew J. Koller, pastor of St. Mary's church at Sleepy Eye and Reverend Theodore Krebsbach, O.S.B., pastor of St. Joseph's church in Minneapolis.

Next came His Excellency the Archbishop, the celebrant of the mass, vested in his pontifical robes, followed by the trainbearers, Don Guggemos.

Then came the remaining minor officers or ministers of the mass. The mitrebearer, Maynard Kegler, formerly of Glencoe, now in the Novitiate of the Oblate Fathers in Belleville, Illinois; the crosierbearer, Henri Du Lac, of Minneapolis; the bookbearer Vincent Kappel, and the candlebearer, Marinus Fasching.

Into the church marched this solemn procession, the church which just recently had been beautifully redecorated. The congregation made up of nearly 50 Sisters and hundreds of parish members, and former parishioners and friends, filled the entire church.

All arose as the celebrant entered and the choir sang out with the "Ecce Sacerdos Magnus," "Behold the great priest." Already we were given a hint as to the excellent performance which the parish choir was to render.

Once in the sanctuary, the celebrant was vested for mass. As the Archbishop surrounded by the ministers of the mass went to the front of the altar, the choir of Seminarians directed by Richard Schuler, of Minneapolis, chanted the introit of the mass.

Their rendition in true Gregorian style was most impressive. The entire "Proper" of the mass was sung by this group of Seminarians. Indeed they were a credit to their instructor at the St. Paul Seminary as well as to the institution itself.

The "Common" of the mass, or the mass itself was sung by our own parish choir. Here it is difficult to find sufficient words of praise. The parish choir working under a severe handicap came through in a noble manner.

Only the day before their directress, Sister M. Maureen, was taken suddenly ill. The strenuous days of rehearsal and preparation for graduation, class play, recital and other heavy duties, were sufficient to snap the vitality of anyone.

A new directress in the person of Ven. Sister Marylinda, O.S.F., of Chicago, a former parish member, and a visitor home for the occasion took over.

Not familiar with the voices of our choir nor their ways, Sister Marylinda succeeded in directing the choir so well and their response to her direction so instant that everywhere among the visiting clergy, seminarians and others, words of praise and admiration was heard.

Sister Marylinda's ability to handle a difficult situation was decidedly proven by the masterful way she directed the choir.

Sister Maureen, the directress of the parish choir was not present but the fruits of her labor were only too evident. The choir outdid itself in order to repay her for her devotion to them and all rose to the occasion.

The Reverend Francis Missia, head of the Archdiocesan Commission of Music, director of the Choral Society and also director of the Schola Cantorum at the St. Paul Seminary, as well as professor of Chant and Music at the Seminary, expressed himself very clearly on the singing by our parish choir.

He was present at the Pontifical High mass and his reactions to the singing were most favorable as he told several of us later on.

The altar and Sanctuary were beautifully decorated for the occasion. The Sisters of our school were responsible for it all. It required not a few hours of persevering labor, and their work was a true prayer to the "King of Kings" who came down to us on the altar during the sacrifice of the mass.

The sermon was preached by the Reverend Andrew J. Rinke, former pastor here at Winsted. He cleverly unfolded the history of the parish from its very beginning by giving the main characteristics and events of each pastorate.

He lauded the spirit of sacrifice of the Founders and Pioneers. He praised the present parish members for their loyalty and devotion and their willingness to cooperate with the present pastor.

Father Rinke's sincerity is never questioned and his simple direct manner in preaching is always in evidence. We appreciated his fine sermon on that day.

After the mass the Archbishop expressed his satisfaction and extended his congratulations to the parish bringing out clearly why all should rejoice on that great day.

His Excellency then bestowed the Papal Blessing on all the faithful present. This faculty was granted him by special permission of His Holiness Pope Pius XII.

The Very Reverend Hilary B. Hacker, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, explained the blessing to the congregation and made known the conditions necessary for receiving a plenary indulgence on this occasion.

The procession was again formed after the entire congregation had joined in singing "Grosser Gott" and the opening ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee celebration was brought to a fitting close.

We will name those of the other reverend clergy who were present at the Pontifical High mass: Very Rev. Henry J. Schere, of New Ulm, Rev. George Galles, of Norwood; Rev. Thomas Rehill, of Watertown; and Rev. Stanley Julkowski, of Silver Lake.

Many other priests arrived later who could not be present at the mass because of their own duties in their respective parishes. They came for the banquet and we will describe

Maybe our readers would like to know the names of these 35 Seminarians. We will give you their names and the Diocese with which they are affiliated. This does not mean their present address but the Diocese in which they will labor once they are ordained, and most of the lads that were here will be ordained within two, three, and four years. Starting out then with our own three Seminarians, we have:

Cecil Roufs, Felix Fasching, Gerald Keefe, Rev. Mr. Joseph Baglio, Rev. Mr. Otto Neudecker, Howard Halloran, David Roney, Thomas Kavanagh, Stanley Sitzmann, James Lavin, Henri Du Lac, Richard Schuler, Oliver Dufresne, Thomas Exley, Richard Schmitzer, Raymond Moorman, John Hemp, Lawrence Keller, Richard Larkin, Donald Mueller, George Rebiski, Donald Salt, John Sankovitz, Edw. Szymanski, Donald Archer, Richard Bigot, Thomas Conroy, Alfred Wagner, Raymond Dehen, St. Paul; Michael Skumavc, Richard Skumavc, Duluth; Maynard Kegler, Bellville, Ill.; William J. Wey, Arthur Hoppe, Frank Ebner, St. Cloud.

One of the most happy and delightful circumstances that made the celebration so very complete was the attendance of so many Sisters who as daughters of Holy Trinity parish came back to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of our parish here at Winsted.

There are 57 of them that consecrated their lives to God's service and of these 57, 12 have died during these last 50 years, but 45 are still living of these 45, 28 were here for the celebration.


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