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Over 500 People Gathered Sunday to Celebrate the St. Boniface Catholic Church's Centennial

Burke, Allan. "Over 500 People Gathered Sunday to Celebrate the St. Boniface Catholic Church's Centennial." Emmons County Record, 9 June 2005, 1 & 3.


The Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, Bishop of the Fargo Diocese, delivers his homily at the Centennial Mass at St. Boniface.

A crowd estimated at over 500 celebrated the St. Boniface Catholic Church Centennial Sunday afternoon and evening at a Centennial Mass at the rural Kintyre church and a dinner in Napoleon.

The June 5 celebration coincided with the Feast of St. Boniface.

Presiding at the Mass was the Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, Bishop of the Fargo Diocese. Bishop Aquila gave the parish permission to depart from the traditional vestment colors of white or green and to use red, which is the color identified with St. Boniface. The clergy wore red vestments, and a striking red altar cloth was used, along with red floral arrangements.

In his homily, Bishop Aquila discussed the Call of Matthew.

Bishop Aquila blesses the parishioners during the recessional.

"Jesus said to Matthew, 'Follow me,' and Matthew got up and followed Him," the Bishop said. "We are also called to follow."

The Bishop said the crowd was gathered to celebrate the church’s centennial because their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents chose to follow Jesus and had the gift of faith.

"They built the church and worked the land," Bishop Aquila said. "We would not be here today if it were not for their faith."

He gave the history of St. Boniface, who was born in England in the 7th century A.D. and was martyred June 5, 755.

St. Boniface gave up everything and left everything he knew to become a priest and to convert Germany from paganism and idolatry to Christianity.

The Bishop said St. Boniface was on his way to celebrate Mass when he was ambushed by pagans and killed.

"It was because of the blood of martyrs like St. Boniface that the Catholic faith grew, spread across Germany, to the United States and to Kintyre," Bishop Aquila said.

He said the call of Jesus is also given to sinners and "we are all sinners."

The Bishop noted that the self-righteous Pharisees questioned why Jesus would eat with tax collectors and sinners.

"Jesus told them that the well do not need a physician, but the sick do," Bishop Aquila said.

"We are called in 2005 to respond to the call Jesus has given to us - 'Come, follow me,'" the Bishop said. "Believe beyond the unbelievable and trust in every word of our saving God."

Bishop Aquila greeted each person as they left the church after the Centennial Mass.
Among those celebrating the church centennial were three nuns who taught at St. Boniface. Left to right are Sister Leonida Schmidt (Emmons County native), Sister Bernadette Jaeger and Sister Genevieve Merrick, all of the Sisters of St. Francis Convent, Hankinson. With them is Kelsey Weigel, daughter of Cheryl and Terry Weigel of Kintyre.

Father Andrew Jasinski of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Zeeland and Sister Sylvia of the Missionaries of Charity, Chicago, are pictured with Cheryl Weigel of Kintyre and her daughter, Kelsey.

Concelebrants of the Mass included the Very Rev. Donald Leiphon, who serves the Napoleon and Kintyre churches and who gave the welcome; Father Abbot Brian Wangler, OSB; Rev. Andrew Roehrich and other guest priests.

Deacon Gary Baumgartner prepared the bread and wine for the Eucharist, and Deacon Gary Schumacher read the Gospel. Mass servers were Tyler Weigel, Mark Weigel and Kelsey Weigel. Danny Schmidt was the reader.

Songs included "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You," "Alleluia, Sing to Jesus" and "I Am the Bread of Life." The recessional song was "Grosser Got" (sung in German and English), "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name."

Organist was Tony Wangler, and the soloist was Margaret Wald.

The sanctuary and balcony were packed with people, and a tent next to the church accommodated more people who heard the Mass over a speaker system.

After time to visit in the church yard and cemetery, the people gathered for supper and a program at the American Legion Hall in Napoleon.

Reprinted with permission of the Emmons County Record.

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