Holy trinity

As the Spirit Moves Me: Holy Trinity is part of a historic trio of churches

Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Goodhue, is one of three churches in Holy Trinity Parish. The others are St. Columbkill’s Church, Belle Creek, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bellchester. They all merged in 2013.

Each church is always open and mass takes place at least once a week in each church. This column featured St. Mary’s around the time of this 2013 merger. Both St. Columbkill’s Church and St. Mary’s Church have cemeteries next to them. The cemetery next to St. Columbkill is used by Holy Trinity and St. Columbkill churches.

Today’s column features only the Holy Trinity. I will follow up on St. Columbkill in the future.

By the mid-1800s, many Irish and German immigrants were settling in Goodhue and Wabasha counties. In 1850, the Diocese of St. Paul was founded and expanded from Canada to Iowa. Reverend Joseph Cretin became the first bishop, remaining until his death in 1857. His successor, Bishop Thomas Grace, placed Reverend Felix Tissot to administer all Catholics in Goodhue and Wabasha counties. He built St. Felix in Wabasha, and from there he served Catholics in 25 locations. He built churches in Lake City, Highland, Oakwood, Red Wing, Bellchester, Belle Creek, Cherry Grove and Pine Island.

In 1865 Reverend CJ Knauf became pastor of an area that included all of Goodhue County. His main church was Red Wing and he worked to serve all the other areas mentioned above. He eventually received three assistants to care for the growing number of Catholics in five parishes.

One of these assistants served the Goodhue area. In 1878 Father Roy was assigned to the new St. Columbkill Church, which was built in 1860. Reverend JH Pendergast became pastor of St. Columbkill at Belle Creek in 1898. Five years later he helped the Goodhue Catholics to establish their own church, which became a St. Columbkill Mission, and Father Pendergast served both churches.

When Father Pendergast was transferred in April 1912, the two churches gave him a farewell party with music and speeches and a farewell scholarship of $345 as proof of the high regard his parishes held for him.

This first small chapel – some say it may have once been a chicken coop – stood for 50 years until a new church was dedicatedly built on May 27, 1956. Reverend Agdus S. Karels was the pastor of the Holy Trinity when the church was built. The mass was followed by a silver tea from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The new church had a seating capacity of 280 and the cost was $65,784.47. The volunteer labor of the parish kept the cost of the church to a minimum. Over the past six decades, many improvements and additions have been added to the new shrine, including stained glass windows. Each family paid $1,400 and purchased a window in memory of a family member. In 1992 the church became handicap accessible with a new ramp installed by Wayne Gadient.

An active congregation at this church in the heart of Goodhue, a town of about 1,100, includes youth mission trips each summer and a food drive from the shelves. Reverend Randal Kasel celebrates Mass at Holy Trinity at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Sundays, Mass is at 8:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s and 10:30 a.m. at St. Columbkill’s.

The mission/vision of the Holy Trinity is to draw closer to Christ and to bring others to him; striving to become saints. Holy Trinity serves 95 families. His address is 211 Fourth St., Box 275, Goodhue. The phone is 651-923-4472.

Next week: Family Worship Church in Zumbrota—very young, founded in 1997.