Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were invited to the 150th anniversary celebration of St. Michael Parish, Whitelaw, Wisconsin as a Catholic Community! An awesome tribute was planned for those who brought the Catholic faith to this area, those who found and grew the parish and the current parishioners who are rebuilding Christ’s Church by sharing their faith with others today.
The 4 p.m. Mass was filled with very appreciative members and non-members gathered to praise God in gratitude for all that has been and all that will be. During the homily, Sacramental Minister Father John Girotti captured the moment to reflect on what it means to be a parish, truly people of God.
He spoke about the beautiful church built for $26,000 in 1907. A strong German heritage shines through the number of striking stained glass windows and hand-carved altar. This place of worship was built and maintained by parishioners. Both men and women volunteered to work at the structure and among its people over the years. It continues to be a labor of love.
With the blessing of the sacraments first available once a month, and then more often until it became once a week with a resident pastor, this relationship with Jesus continues to flourish today in times of challenge and in times of great joy.
After the liturgy, Parish Coordinator Deacon Randy Jackels took time to recognize long time members Janet and Al Braun with words of gratitude presenting them with a St. Michael the Archangel Statue for their service.
Later on Saturday and again on Sunday after the 11 a.m. Mass, people went to the church basement where an overwhelming amount of good food was served potluck-style. A special commemorative cake and ice cream was also enjoyed.
Bulletin boards and several tables were filled with historical pictures and memories which kept the interest of many both days.
Community sharing through conversation and light-hearted games also helped to create a spirit of celebration.
A great love for education had been part of the history of St. Michael Parish. Archivist Sister Caritas Strodthoff provided pictures of our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity who served and serve the parish. We were touched to be invited to this significant anniversary and enjoyed being with this Community of love including significant family members.