A Heavenly Star Shines: Monsignor Joseph Senger
Shares his Personal Story on Film
Kittelson, Cindy. "A Heavenly Star Shines: Monsignor Joseph Senger Shares his Personal Story on Film." Velva Area Voice, 24 October 2002, 1.
As the acting priest at local parishes in Velva and Karlsruhe,
Monsignor Joseph Senger was loved by all who knew him. And when
the time came for him to retire, his congregations were sad to see
him go, but pleased he would be able to pursue his personal goals.
One of Fr. Senger's most pressing pursuits was to follow his family
roots back to Russia. He is, as are many in this region, a German
from Russia who immigrated to the United States and eventually settled
in the northern plains.
The Senger family lived in South Russia for more than 100 years,
after immigrating from Riedselz, Alsace-Lorraine Germany (present-day
France). The Sengers left Russia at the turn of the 19th century
to homestead in north central North Dakota.
Now, the story of the Senger family's life in Russia and North
Dakota will be available to the general public. A documentary videotape
entitled "Personal Reflections with Monsignor Joseph Senger"
will be introduced at the Velva Public Library on Friday, Nov. 8,
from 2 to 4 p.m. The event includes a reception, brief program,
and comments from Fr. Senger. While portions of the film will be
running on a television set, there will not be a formal showing
of the one-hour program that afternoon. However, the videotape will
be available for purchase at the reception. Velva librarian Iris
Swedlund noted that the St. Cecilia Christian Mothers will serve
refreshments at the event. The public is welcome.
The film features personal conversations with Fr. Senger as he
talks about his family's life in Russia and North Dakota, and what
it was like growing up as a young German from Russia on a farm in
Orrin, N.D. He shares the joys of his service as parish priest in
different communities across North Dakota and the unforgettable
story of his 2001 journey to the Ukraine where he revisited his
The film was funded by the Germans from Russia Cultural Preservation
Foundation and produced by Roadshow Productions. The Germans from
Russia Heritage Collection will also be displayed at the Pride of
Dakota Showcase in Minot on Nov. 9-10 at the State Fairgrounds.
Reprinted with permission of the Velva Area Voice.
Senger seated in a pew at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church
in Karlsruhe, ND, August 2001. Photograph of the videotape
"Personal Reflections with Monsignor Joseph Senger"
featuring the priest on the cover.
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael