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Carroll Holy Spirit marks 50th

By RENEE WEBB, Globe senior reporter
(Email Renee)

CARROLL – Pentecost is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and it’s considered the birthday of the church.

With that in mind, it was a fitting day for Holy Spirit Parish to celebrate its own birthday. The parish – which was established out of a merger of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish and St. Joseph Parish – marked its 50th anniversary June 8.

“It wasn’t a grand display, but a humble and grateful pause to celebrate our 50 years of existence and hopefully bring the presence of Christ to individuals and families who have been part of the parish,” said Father Tim Johnson, pastor. “It was a time to remind ourselves of the gift of our parish and our call to continue to be a Christian community for the next 50 years.”

The celebration began with Mass, followed by lunch and a parish social with games for people of all ages as well as a raffle. The Mass was celebrated by Father Johnson and concelebrated by Father Allan Reicks, native son of the parish; Father Richard Remmes, former pastor and Father Ed Tiedeman.

Father Reicks, pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Sheldon and native son of Holy Spirit Parish, was the homilist. He spoke about the power of the Holy Spirit unifying the old pioneering parishes that were located only a block and a half apart.

Petitions also remembered past pastors, especially Bishop Frank Greteman, Msgr. Leo Lenz and Father Jim McCormick. 

John Steffes, a life-long Holy Spirit parishioner, said, “These three priests had an enormous impact on our Holy Spirit Parish of today.”

Bishop Greteman, who was then a monsignor, was Holy Spirit’s first pastor. A year later, Msgr. Lenz was named pastor and served in that capacity until 1978. Father McCormick, who died in April of 2013, served the parish until he retired in 2008. From that point on, the parish has been led by Father Johnson who also serves as pastor in Willey.

Steffes views Holy Spirit Parish as a pioneer - both through the pioneering parishes of St. Joseph and Sts. Peter and Paul of the late 1800s; and as “a pioneer through its unifying of operations early on (1964) beginning a trend of unification that continues today in our diocese. It may not always be popular, but it's usually what's best for the future strength of our faith as our successful 50th anniversary celebration showed. I'm proud to be a part of Carroll's Holy Spirit Parish.” 

A time capsule was opened after Communion during Mass. Items in the capsule were on display with other religious items from the past.

Father Johnson made this reference in the parish bulletin the week of the 50th anniversary:  "Bishop Frank Greteman's words in his last letter to his parishioners here at Holy Spirit seem most appropriate as we gratefully begin our journey of faith through the next 50 years: 'There remains much work to be done.’”

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