Herald JournalHerald Journal, March 1, 2004

Holy Trinity publishes history book

By Liz Hellmann

The Holy Trinity parish in Winsted, recently celebrated its 125th anniversary with the release of a parish history book, authored and edited by Father Bob Wyffels, Sister Catherine Mary, and the Holy Trinity Book Committee.

The history book commemorates the history of the church, starting from the time it was built in 1869, up to 1998.

Father Bob served the parish in Winsted for 16 years, and is the main author and contributor for the book.

He calls the parish his first love. “I was very impressed by the vibrant faith of the people and their determination to pass on that faith to future generations,” said Father Bob.

Father Bob was ordained a priest on Feb. 21, 1960, and was called, a few months later, to Holy Trinity. The acting priest passed away shortly after Father Bob arrived, and he became the priest and superintendent of Holy Trinity High School from June until December of 1960.

Father Bob then left Winsted and served in New Ulm and Sleepy Eye, before returning to Holy Trinity in 1983, where he served for the next 16 years.

When he began working on the book he received much support from the parish.

The people were excited to work together and volunteer their time to help. The book’s importance stems from the fact that there has never been a history of any kind published during the parish’s existence.

To help with the writing of the book, the Holy Trinity Book Committee was formed; made up of eight different authors.

Each person wrote one chapter to be included in the book. “We tried to include everything of historical value that is not recorded elsewhere,” Father Bob said.

The chapters include personal stories of the authors and parishioners. “Each person tells of a different era,” Father Bob explained.

Memories from when the church started in the late 1800s were kept alive through word of mouth and documents included in the chapters.

Sister Catherine Mary is co-author of the book, and wrote the history of the sisters at Holy Trinity. “She has a wealth of historical knowledge about the parish,” Father Bob said.

Sister Catherine arrived in Winsted, to teach first grade, in 1938. She served the Holy Trinity Parish for 44 years, before retiring.

Sister Catherine assisted Father Bob in editing the eight chapters written by the Holy Trinity Book Committee.

They then both wrote and edited supplementing chapters. The book is more than 300 pages long. The back of the book includes a list of pioneer pirishioners and their history, along with pictures of them.

The book, itself, has 420 pictures depicting the parish at different stages of its development.

The book is now for sale at Kremer Pharmacy in Winsted. It is Father Bob’s way of bringing back the spirit of the parish, and it has been met with unbelievable appreciation, he said.

“It is an opportunity for me to give back to the parish something of lasting value after all they gave me those 16 years,” he said.


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