Rev. Msgr. Antony J. Leifeld
The Rev. Msgr. Antony J. Leifeld, age 92 of New Ulm, and formerly of Winsted, died Thursday, March 24, 2005 at the age of 92.
Monsignor Leifeld was born Dec. 7, 1912 in Vermillion. He attended high school and his first two years of college at the Nazareth Hall in St. Paul. He then finished college at the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, and also spent four years studying theology at the St. Paul Seminary.
He was ordained at the St. Paul Cathedral June 4, 1938 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul. He served as associate pastor at the Church of St. Agnes in St. Paul, St. Mathias in Hampton, and St. Mary in Bird Island, where in the spring of 1942, he became infected with encephalomyelitis, a viral disease that causes concurrent inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
During his recuperation, he helped at St. Peter in Eden Valley, St. Mary in St. Paul, Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth, and St. Andrew in Fairfax.
Father Leifeld served as pastor at Holy Name in Vesta and St. Michael in Morgan.
He continued his priestly ministry in the Diocese of New Ulm when it was established Nov. 18, 1957, and served as pastor at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Winsted and as rector of the Cathedral in New Ulm.
He was granted the title of monsignor March 16, 1975.
Msgr. Leifeld served as parochial administrator of the Church of the Visitation in Swan Lake.
He retired from active ministry Aug. 1, 1988, and had been living in New Ulm since his retirement.
He served as vicar for retired priests from 1989 to 2000.
Throughout Msgr. Leifeld’s ministry, he was a strong supporter of Catholic schools, and oversaw several building projects in the parishes he served. In 1951 when he was appointed pastor in Morgan, he oversaw the building of a church, school, convent, and rectory over the next several years.
Moving to Winsted, he built a new high school for the Church of the Holy Trinity.
Even after his retirement in 1988, he was actively involved in the capital campaign that raised money to build St. Anthony’s Elementary School in New Ulm. The school was named after St. Anthony in his honor, as was Leifeld Hall in the basement of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm.
Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday, March 30, at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm, with burial at the New Ulm Catholic Cemetery.