Each year the Diocese of St. Cloud and area religious communities honor priests and professed members who are celebrating milestone anniversaries of ordination or profession. Featured below are the priests and religious — as submitted by their communities — marking special jubilees in 2018 as well as a sampling of news and trivia from the year of their anniversaries.
Religious communities featured are the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, the Benedictine sisters of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, and the Crosier Fathers and Brothers in Onamia. The Poor Clare Sisters of St. Clare’s Monastery in Sauk Rapids do not have jubilarians this year. Also included is one Maryknoll priest from the diocese.
Please offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the service they have given to the church, and pray for those today who are discerning a religious vocation.
— The Visitor
75 Years (1943)
Franciscan Sister M Sharon Fyle
Franciscan Sister M Mercita Pipp
Franciscan Sister Mary K Zirbes
• World War II is into its fourth year. An incomplete report in the diocesan newspaper states that 6,757 of the 83,000 Catholics in the diocese are enrolled in the armed services, including 110 women. By the end of the war, the death toll is 214. At least six diocesan priests, 14 Benedictine priests and three Crosier priests serve as chaplains.
• Gas rationing is not an adequate reason to miss Sunday Mass, according to the diocese’s chancellor, and food rationing is not a reason to slack off on Lenten fasting and abstinence.
• St. Augustine Parish in St. Cloud opens a junior high school.
• Cost of a gallon of gas: 15 cents.
70 Years (1948)
Benedictine Father Hilary Thimmesh (profession)
• The average cost of a new car is $1,250.
• The first Polaroid instant camera goes on sale.
• St. Francis Xavier Parish in Sartell is founded.
• The first marriage preparation course is offered in diocese — 34 couples registered, 120 couples attended.
65 Years (1953)
Crosier Father Raymond Steffes (profession; 60 years ordination)
Crosier Father John Vincent (profession; 60 years ordination)
• Queen Elizabeth II ascends to the throne.
• Dwight Eisenhower is inaugurated as the 34th president of the United States.
• Average annual U.S. wage: $4,000.
• Bishop Joseph Busch, who headed the Diocese of St. Cloud since 1915, dies at age 87. Bishop Peter Bartholome succeeds him and will serve until 1968.
• Assumption of Our Lady Parish, Menahga, is established.
• At a ceremony of religious profession held at St. Benedict’s Convent in St. Joseph July 11, “45 nuns made vows,” according to The St. Cloud Register. “Thirteen made perpetual vows and 32 made vows for three years.”
60 Years (1958)
Father Silverius Schmitt
Benedictine Father Meinrad Dindorf (ordination)
Benedictine Brother Andrew Goltz (profession)
Benedictine Father Julian Schmiesing (ordination)
Benedictine Father Gordon Travis (ordination)
Benedictine Father Thomas Wahl (ordination)
Benedictine Sister Denise Braegelman
Benedictine Sister Katherine Howard
Benedictine Sister Mary Jackle
Benedictine Sister Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck
Benedictine Sister Elizabeth Larson
Benedictine Sister Margaret Mandernach
Benedictine Sister Luncinda Mareck
Benedictine Sister Laureen Virnig
Benedictine Sister Marcella Weber
Crosier Father Adrian Piotrowski (profession)
Franciscan Sister Marjorie Bischoff
Franciscan Sister Joanne Klinnert
Franciscan Sister M Juanita Mauer
Franciscan Sister Rose Margaret Schneider
Franciscan Sister M Christelle Watercott
• Pope St. John XXIII is elected.
• National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established.
• Average cost of a new house is $12,750.
• St. Gabriel’s School of Nursing in Little Falls receives full national accreditation.
• Two Benedictine sisters from St. Joseph establish a novitiate in Formosa (now Taiwan); two others establish one in Japan.
• Cornerstone laid for St. John’s Abbey Church.
55 Years (1963)
Bishop Emeritus John F. Kinney
Father Gregory Lieser
Father Laurn Virnig
• Pope St. John XXIII dies on June 3; his final prayer was for Christian unity. Pope Paul VI is elected on June 21.
• Three Franciscan sisters — M. Jacinta, M. Mercy and M. Ramona — prepare to leave to serve as missionaries in Peru.
• Bishop Bartholome blesses the new St. Peter’s Convent in St. Cloud which houses 14 Benedictine sisters who teach at St. Peter’s School.
50 Years (1968)
Father Stanley Wieser
Benedictine Father Thomas Andert (profession)
Benedictine Father Cletus Connors (profession)
Benedictine Sister Kara Hennes
Benedictine Sister Christian Morris
Benedictine Sister Patricia Ruether
Benedictine Sister Jean Schwartz
Crosier Father Gregory Poser (profession)
Crosier Father Jerome (Jerry) Schik (profession)
Franciscan Sister Janice Wiechman
Maryknoll Father Herb Gappa (ordination)
• The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated on April 4; Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated on June 6.
• Blessed Pope Paul VI issues his encyclical “Humanae Vitae” (“Of Human Life”) on July 25.
• Federal hourly minimum wage is $1.60 an hour.
• Bishop Peter Bartholome of St. Cloud retires; Bishop George Speltz succeeds him.
• Two Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls — Sister Patricia Moulsoff and Sister Marcella Schuller — are assigned by Catholic Relief Services to South Vietnam to assist refugees. Eight other American sisters will join them.
40 Years (1978)
Father Lauren Germann
Crosier Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking (profession)
• Blessed Pope Paul VI dies Aug. 6. Pope John Paul I is elected Aug. 26 but dies just over a month later on Sept. 28. Pope St. John Paul II is elected Oct. 16.
• NASA selects six women as their first female astronaut candidates. They include Shannon Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn Sullivan, Judith Resnik, Anna Fisher and Sally Ride.
• The Diocese of St. Cloud holds a Diocesan Congress on Evangelization at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph on Oct. 8. It is intended as “the beginning of an ongoing missionary program that will call for a broadening of vision” for going forth and proclaiming the Good News. About 1,100 people from around the diocese attend.
25 Years (1993)
Father Albert Holmes
Father Peter Kirchner
Benedictine Father Anthony Ruff (ordination)
Benedictine Brother Simon-Hoa Phan (profession)
Benedictine Sister Mary Lou Carlson
• Pope St. John Paul II and hundreds of thousands of youths attend World Youth Day in Denver. More than 1,000 pilgrims from the Diocese of St. Cloud participate, transported by 22 buses. Twenty-two people ride bicycles to the gathering.
• Intel Pentium processor first produced.
• Eight men representing parishes across the diocese begin their studies for the permanent diaconate.