St. Anthony

Welcome to St. Anthony

Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 8:00 AM – Noon / Thursday 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Address: 24326 Trobec St. – Albany, MN 56307

Mass Times: Sunday 8:30 AM / Wednesday 8:30 AM

 

The History of St. Anthony

It has been rightly said of the past HUNDRED YEARS: “The Century on which we entering can be and must be the Century of the Common Man.” For the Good People in heartland Stearns County, these words aptly describe them and their times.
The township of Krain, located in the northern part of Stearns County, was first colonized, in 1866, by Krainers, natives of the former Province of Krain, in Austra. In 1867, the venerable Father Benedict, O.S.B., first visited this region, traveling by horse and buggy. Once a month, he celebrated Mass, in a log cabin, the original homestead of Anton and Agnes Goala, Sr. Father Benedict also baptized and performed marriages, at the time of these periodic visits.
In 1870, the famous Indian Missionary priest, Father Joseph Buh, first visited this site. The following year, he became the first Pastor, shepherding some twenty families of Slovene, Dutch, and German ancestry. During this time, he priestly visits occurred twice a month.
Among the early pioneer families were: Anton and Anges Gogala, Sr. (1865), Joesph and Mary Gasperlin 865), Matthew and Cecilia Pogatchnik (1865), Joseph and Mary Cremers (1868) and George and Margaret Urbashich (1875).  However the person responsible for the coming of the first Sloverian immigrants was Father Francis Pierz, who was assisted by Father Joesph Bah and Gather Ignatius Tomazin. These three priest formed the nucleus of an Indian Missionary group that served central and northern Minnesota. Their Missionary activities were frequently published in local Slovenian newspapers. The following interesting, historical fact was originally published in The Highlanders, in 1865: “The first Slovenian family began the present Church, and it was completed in 1901. The following year, the main altar and the confessionals were installed by Father Joseph Stephan. In 1903, the same Pastor installed the side altars and the stain glass windows. Under Father Vincent Weigand, a new Rectory was built, in 1918. Under the same Pastor, the Winter chapel, in the Church basement, was ready on November 1, 1919. The Church basement was completed, in 1939, by Father James Zunz, and the following year, the Church kitchen was installed. During Father Kunz’s Tenure, in 1946, a new pipe organ was installed. In 1954, the Church was re-decorated by Father Vincent Huebsch. The present electric Wicks organ was installed, in 1947, by Father August Preusser. An altar in the cemetery was erected in 1966, by Father Joeseph Wiersgalla.
On November 11th, 1966, Father Kenneth LaPan, T.O.R., Third Order Regular of Saint Francis, a member of the Province of the Immaculate Conception, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, was the first Franciscan to be appointed Pastor. On February 15th, 1968, the Parish Council was formally inaugurated with an ideal arrangement of ten men and ten woman plus a representation from the Youth sector. On Easter Sunday, 1968, the new portable altar was used for the first time. After Easter, 1968, Father in Saint Stephen in the Woods and in Saint Anthony, Minnesota. Actually both parishes were not intended to come in existence. The original settlers both in Saint Stephen and Saint Anthony intended to settle in Fahter Pierz’a Mission territory, near Ottertail Lake. However, before these pioneer families could join Father Pierz, a company of land agents persuaded the first settles to purchase land in Saint Stephen in the Woods and in Saint Anthony. When Father Pierz finally learned of this unwarranted development, it was too late to move the first Slovenian residents to the Ottertail district.
There is yet another interesting historical footnote worthy of mention: George Urbashich also proposed to give forty acres of land across from the present John Urbashich, Jr. farm, for a new Church. However, N 1/2 of NW40 and N 1/2 of NE 40 of NW 1/4 of Section 23 – Title 126 – Region 31, was finally selected.
At Saint Anthony, Minnesota, Father Vincent Schiefrer O.S.B. is credited with building the first Church. In 1872 Anton Gogala, Sr. Donated 40 acres of land for this purpose. As one chronicler put it, “with hard labor and a little money,” a Church (50′ by 30′) with a a tower was built at a cost of approximately $1,500.00. Some of the men who worked on the first church were: Messrs, John Budnar, Anton Gogala Jr., Anton Gogala Sr., Joseph Gasperlin, Joseph Kuhar, John Locknikar, Andrew Malley, Henry Moonen, Joseph Moonen, John Plemel, Matthew Pogatchnik, Peter Pogatchnik, Frank Rakotz Sr., Mattew Schiffler, Premus Skumantz, George Urbaskich, Anton Vos, and Ulrich Zeleznik. The first Church was officially dedicated on June 13, 1874 and on June 13, 1879, a twenty-one hundred pound bell was blessed and raised.
In 1893, Father Ignatius Lager constructed the first Rectory. May years later, this building we transferred to the present Joseph Gasperlin farm. On November 5, 1859, Father John Alterdorf, under Bishop Martin Marty, legally incorporated the Parish of Saint Anthony. Mr. Henry Kemper and Mr. John Luethmers were the first Trustees of the newly-organized Parish. In 1898, the cemetery was established–according the records–“twelve rods by six rods,” or 198′ by 99′. In 1897, Father Charles Pfieffer Kenneth initiated a Youth group–the Young Christian Student–quite possibly, the first of its kind, in the Diocese. Likewise, as far as temporalities are concerned, a central heating system for both the upper and lower part of the Church was installed, in the same year. In 1969, a crying room was built and installed at the rear of the Church.
In Truth, the life of a Parish through a Century represents much labor and sacrifice. It bespeaks of weary years of poverty, or difficult and weighty problems, of disappoint, or difficult and weighty problems, of disappointment, of failure, of strife. Yes, of resulting heartaches. It, likewise, tells a graphic story of the rich and blessed achievements by apostolic priest and devoted Catholic laymen. In fact, in a Century-long service of dedication and devotion, some thirty priest, Diocesan and Religious, have zealously and assiduously served the Good People of Saint Anthony’s.
The harvest, therefore, has been modest, but noteworthy — one Benedictine Brother, twelve Benedictine Sisters, and three Franciscan Sisters. Indeed, we might justifiably add, with gratitude, joy and pride:
“…Let us praise illustrious men,
our ancestors in their successive generation.
Some were intelligent advisers,
and utter prophetic sayings.
Others directed the people by their advice,
by their understanding of the popular mind,
and by their wise words of their teachings.
All these were honored by their contemporaries
and were the glory of their day.
Some of them left a name behind them,
so that their praises are still sung.
Here is a list of generous men…
whose good works have NOT been forgotten.
In their descendants there remains
a rich inheritance born of them.
The people will proclaim their wisdom,
The assembly will celebrate their praises.”