From: History of Holy Trinity Parish, published in the Parish Messenger (Holy Trinity) by Francis L. Auer, ci. 1930s.
On February 24, 1891, Rev. H. Thobe left Holy Trinity to accepet a new position at Glasgow, Mo., which is today held by Father Joseph Rapien, a son of the Parish.
On November 29, 1891, all the parishes of the city took part in the Golden Jubilee celebration of Archbishop Kenrick. Holy Trinity also took part in this celebration, the rectory and church were beautifully decorated for the occasion and a special Holy Mass was offered for the Jubilarian. Dr. Sellinger, a Seminary Professor at the time, preached the sermon. On the evening of the 30th of November a lantern parade was held in honor of the Archbishop, in which parade 52 parishes took part. Four hundred people from Holy Trinity took part.
May 6, 1894, goes down in the history of our parish as the first day that the new Archbishop (Kain) confirmed at Holy Trinity. There were 148 confirmandi. On the occasion the Archbishop was met by members of the parish at Hebert Street and accompanied to the church in parade.
On June 24, 1894, the Holy Trinity Benevolent Society celebrated its Silver Jubilee, with a Solemn Mass and Procession. Father Haase preached the sermon upon the occasion. There were 400 members present.
On August 19, 1894, Father Servatius blessed a statue of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which had been donated to the Church by Mr. Poehling.
On April 21, 1895, a parish meeting was held in the school hall. There were 120 members present. For the first time since the founded of the parish, there were no debts. There was 20c in the treasury.
On June 9, 1895, Trinity Sunday, Rev. F. Ernst, celebrated his First Solemn High Mass at 10:00 o’clock in Holy Trinity Church. The Church was beautifully decorated for the occasion. The ministers of the Mass were Rev. Minges, Deacon; Rev. Adrian, Sub-Deacon; Rev. Ignatius, O.S.F., Preacher and 9 other priests were present. The weather was beautiful, thus doing its share to make the entire occasion a beautiful and colorful one. Father Ernst is at the present time Pastor at Hannibal, Mo.
On June 25, 1895, Rev. Benten, who had been assistant priest at Holy Trinity for a few years was appointed pastor of the Church at Wardsville. Rev. Jos. Kroeger succeeded him at Holy Trinity.
On October 7, 1895, Rev. Adrian was also made assistant at Holy Trinity.
REV. JOSEPH R. SENSE
Holy Trinity Parish has again been privileged to have one of its sons elevated to the sublime office of the Holy Priesthood. On June 11th Father Joseph Sense was ordained a priest by His Excellency Bishop Henry Althoff, Bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill.
Father Sense is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sense, who reside at 3948 North Nineteenth Street. He was born in St. Louis November 15, 1911. His grammar school education was received in our own parochial school of Holy Trinity. After graduating from Holy Trinity School, Father Sense entered the St. Louis Preparatory Seminary. At this institution he received a thorough education preparatory to his high studies at Kenrick Theological Seminary, which he entered in September, 1934.
On June 12th at 10:30 o’clock Father Sense celebrated his First Solemn Mass in our Church. On this momentous occasion, the entire parish of priests and parishioners joined with Father Sense and his good parents, relatives and friends in rendering thanks to Almighty God.
The ministers of the Solemn Mass were as follows: Rev. Joseph F. Lubeley, Arch-Priest; Rev. Edmuch Sense, Deacon; Rev. Paul Hellrung, Sub-Deacon; Mr. Emmett Coler, Master of Ceremonies; Mr. Joseph Eberhardt, Thurifer; Messrs. Charles Mulholland and Frank Kainz, Acolytes; Mr. Albert Maixner, Cross Bearer. Other minor ministers were as follows: Chester Patton, Anthony Roth, Eugene McCabe, James Cobb, Nelson Klein; Fred Joshu, Kenneth Jaggard and Fred Lehr. The preacher for this solemn occasion was the Reverend G. Gieson, the chaplain at the Penitentiary at Chester, Illinois.
Other clerics present at the celebration beside the above mentioned ministers were as follows: Rev. Francis L. Auer, Rev. Joseph A. Duehren, Rev. Earnest Eckert, Rev. Charles Hellrung, Rev. Henry Koeth, Rev. Steven Kraus, Rev. Joseph Le Grand, Rev. Joseph M. Mueller, Rev. Michael Schaller, Rev. Elmer G. Stolle, Rev. Alphonse Shomaker, Rev. Mr. J. Rottermann, S.J., Mr. Robert Hutsch, Mr. Gerard Poelker and Mr. George Kurtz.
As yet Father Sense has not received his appointment. He will work as a subject of Bishop Hnery Althoff in the diocese of Bellville, wehre his brother is also working, being stationed in the Parish of St. Elizabeth in East St. Louis, Illinois. Wherever he may be sent, we know that he will go with his priestly aflame with irrepressible zeal to do the work of our Lord in his Vineyard.
We pray that Almighty God will bless his every effort with the greatest success and grant his mission to yield fruit an hundred-fold.
HISTORY OF OUR PARISH—Continued
The second Holy Trinity Church, which was built in 1858, though a large building, was fast becoming far too small for the parish. On May the 22nd, 1897, at the annual parish meeting, plans for a new church were presented to the assembly. It was thereupon agreed by all the parishioners assembled that a new church building be erected and that it be a splendid edifice, one that even after a century would still be a real proof of the faith and sacrifice of the people of Holy Trinity Parish. As to the amount to be spent—it was decided that the sum of $100,000.00 be spent in erecting their new house of God.
The new building was to be on the same corner as the old church, but with the entrance facing 14th Street rather than Mallinckrodt Street.
The pastor of the parish at the time was the Reverend Father J. Schroeder. He too was very much in favor of a new church. He suggested the following plan: that the western half of the new foundation be built first and that this portion be roofed and used for divine services while the old church itself would be torn down. After the old church was wrecked then to add the eastern portion of the foundation to 14th Street to the already completed portion of the foundation. The proposition of Father Schroeder was much discussed, so much so that for a while it seemed as though neither a basement nor a church would be built. Finally at the motion of Mr. Clement Eckhoff it was voted to follow their pastor’s suggestion and that the church be built of stone.
Thereupon a building committee was selected for the detail work. The plans were to eb drawn up by the architect, Mr. Joseph Conradi of St. Louis. Mr. F. Krey was appointed to accept subscription for the new building. The willingness of the people to help was seen in the fact that within a few days over $40,000.00 was freely contributed.
A few days after the aforesaid meeting another meeting was held, at which we find some more discussions. The discussions this time were concerning the construction and the plans of the new church. At first the plans presented by Conradi were flatly rejected on the grounds that he planned two towers for the new church, whereas they wanted one massive tower on the corner. The pastor then intervened and addressed the assembly in favor of Mr. Conradi’s plans and his plans were then finally accepted.
On July the 7th, 8th, and 9th, other meetings of the building committee were held at which the contract was read, approved and accepted.
The men on the committee who approved the plans were as follows: Messrs. Adam Kulage, Christ Muckermann, John Muckerman, Henry Sanders, F. Fischer, F. Vosseler, Clement Eckhoff, J. Kappel, Henry Herkenhoff, Christ Hilke, F. Leber, Henry Maler, J. Unland, Herm. Laing, Arnold Kaiman, Henry Bredeck, Anton Schmidt, J. C. SChuermann, B. Kreinbaum, Joseph Poehling, F. Krey, Theo. Mertens, George Mertensmeyer, August Kayser, Carl Welsch, Carl Hartung, H. Toeniskoetter and J. Hangartner.
The officers of the above committee were: Messrs. C. Welsch, August Kayser, Christ Muckermann, Theo. Mertens and Clement Eckhoff.
On July 13th Joseph Weber removed the first spadeful of earth for the new church.
On August 18th the western portion of the foundation was begun, and that half was completed about the middle of December. The last services to be held in the old church was on the 12th of December, thence it was torn down in order to make way for the building of the rest of the foundation up to 14th Street. All the benches, altars and confessionals were moved from the old church into the new basement and on the 18th of December Holy Mass was celebrated in the basement church for the first time. (Masses were said at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:45, and 9:45). The parishioners were well satisfied with the new place of worship—itwas just just a roomy and much warmer than their old church had been.
On January 28th, 1898 the cornerstone of the old church was opened and the documents that it contained for 30 years was illegible. On the next day the wrecking of the old church was completed and for the next five days the old church was dug out and then all was ready to complete the foundation up to 14th Street. The foundation was completed by middle of May, 1898.
May the 15th was set for the Corner Stone laying of our present Holy Trinity Church. The Parish took great pains to make this affair a grand and great success.
The decorations on the Rectory, the School Buildings and on the foundation of the new church were beautiful.
At 1:30 o’clock the various societies of the parish left the school grounds and went to St. Liborius Church, where they met many other societies from all over the city and county. Thence all the societies proceeded in procession from St. Liborius Church to the New Church on the Most Holy Trinity, for the ceremony of laying its corner stone. (In the next month’s issue of the Messenger we will publish a detailed list of all the parishes and societies that took part in this vast procession.)
At 3:00 o’clock sharp the beginning of the procession arrived at the place of celebration. Archbishop Kain sat upon the balcony of the old rectory, surrounded by his priests, reviewing the parade. Great was his surprise at the sight of such a large crowd of men and young men.
It is recorded that there were in the parade 32 bands and some 25,000 men and young men from both German and English speaking parishes. So long was the procession that the archbishop had to start with the ceremonies before all the societies had marched past him.
The archbishop was assisted in the performance of the ceremonies by Reverend Father Hukenstein of St. Augustine’s Parish as Deacon; Reverend Father O’Donohoe of Our Lady of Good Council’s Parish as Sub-Deacon and the Reverend Father Brennan of St. Lawrence O’Toole’s Parish as Master of Ceremonies.
As prescribed by the rubrics for the corner stone laying of a new church the Most Reverend Archbishop first went to the place where the new main altar was to be built and there erected a beautiful blessed wooden cross. Thence he proceeded to the actual blessing of and laying of the corner stone proper.
The stone blessed, the 53 priests present sang the Litany of All Saints and Psalmn 126 (Nisi Dominus aedifiaverit Domum.) as the Archbishop laid the stone—with a silver trowel.
This was followed by the singing of the “Veni Creator” and the Psalm “Miserere” by the priests, as the Archbishop proceeded to the ground level and blessed the foundation of the new building.
Then the Archbishop betook himself and the priests themselves to the rear part of the new building where a temporary pulpit had been erected. After the Archbishop and clergy were seated the public were permitted on the rest of the building and in a very few minutes the rest of the space was filled with people.
There were two sermons preached, one in the English and the other in the German language. Father J. Schaefer of St. Nicolaus Parish, later pastor of our parish, preached the German sermon. Father B. Stemker from Kirkwood, Mo., preached the English sermon.
After the sermons the Archbishop also spoke a few words of praise to the people. Then he gave the Papal blessing and the great celebration was closed with the “Grosser Gott.”
Everything went off in the best order and harmony and much gratitude went to the arrangement committee of that vast celebration which had worked together so well. The Committee was made up of the following men of the parish: Messrs. C. Hilke, President; B. Sanders, Secretary; J. Herkenhoff, J. Bockindel and Fr. Meyer. The daily papers made the affair matter for the first page, with big head lines, calling it a “Gala Day for North Saint Louis.”
It is interesting to note in passing that at 10:00 o’clock that same evening it began to rain in torrents. It had threatened to rain all that day but providentially it held out till the celebration was completed. A special prayer had been offered to St. Joseph to intercede. This parochial custom of praying to St. Joseph for good weather still prevails, and it is still very evident on the morning of the annual school and parish picnic—when the pastor says a special mass at the St. Joseph’s Altar petitioning for good weather that day.
In last month’s issue of the Messenger we wrote about the cornerstone laying of our present Church, which took place on May 15, 1898. This month we will publish a detailed list of all the parishes and societies that took part in the long parade that took place upon that occasion.
The parade formed on North Market and Madison Streets between 11th and Hogan Streets. The parade moved from St. Liborius Church at 2:00 o’clock as the bells and the church gave the signal start.
The parade consisted of four divisions. We will take up each separately.
The First Division—The Marshal for this division was Julius Leber, assisted by H. Hilke, W. Perkinson and John D. Brockland. Societies that made up this first division were as follows:
Holy Trinity Young Men’s Sodality—Marshal, C. Sunder, assisted by Chr. Hubel, Chas. Wunderlich and Hy. Tobergate.
The Holy Trinity Benevolent Society—Marshal, Chas. Kinze, assisted by Hy. Kesselmann.
The Holy Trinity Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 156)—Marshal, Leo Nies, assisted by Herman Kersting.
The Holy Trinity Sodalities were well represented and they were led by the First Regiment Band of the National Guard of Missouri.
Our Lady of Good Council—Marshal, Chas. Gorman.
St. Liborius Young Men’s Sodality—Marshals, Al. Jaeger, Hy. Lippelt, Geo. Wuesenfechter, N. Knoll and Jos. Meyer.
St. Mary’s Young Men’s Sodality—Marshal, Frank Schaffer.
St. Augustine’s Young Men’s Sodality—Marshals, A. Rein and Geo. Dielmann.
St. Francis de Sales Young Men’s Sodality—Marshals, C. Schuler and A. Poag.
Holy Cross Young Men’s Sodality—Marshal, Jos. Grelle.
The Second Division—The Marshal for this division was Stevan Stiens, assisted by Hy. Handing and caspar Unland. Leading this division of the parade was the German-Catholic Benevolent Society, generally called the “Old Society,” which had as its Marshals H. H. Meset, assisted by St. Handing. Then came the following societies:
St. Boniface Benevolent Society.
St. Boniface Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 556).
St. Paul’s Benevolent Society.
St. Joseph’s Benevolent Society.
St. Agatha’s Young Men’s Sodality.
St. Agatha’s Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 407).
St. Agatha’s Benevolent Society.
St. Nicolas Benevolent Society.
St. Nicolas Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 300).
Holy Ghost Sodalities, led by St. John Commandery of the Catholic Knights of America, in uniform.
St. Monica’s Parishioners of Creve Coeur, Mo., as part of Holy Ghost division.
St. Barbara’s Parishioners.
St. Francis de Sales Benevolent Society.
St. Augustine’s Benevolent Society (No. 434).
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Benevolent Society.
St. Bernard’s Benevolent Society.
St. Anthony’s Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 309).
St. Anthony’s Young Men’s Sodality.
St. Anthony’s Benevolent Society.
St. Aloysius’ Benevolent Socity.
St. Henry’s Sodalities. (In this group we also see the Young Men’s Sodality in which Father Joseph Lubeley was the Marshal.)
St. Stanislaus Parishioners, which represented and included all Polish speaking Catholics.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians.
The Third Devision—The Marshal for this division was Anton Reising, assisted by A. J. Korte, My. J. Cullen, Hy. Husman and C. L. Hulhall. In this division we see first several public officials as B. H. Hellmann, the Vice-President of the State League; Jacob Neumann, State’s Treasurer; Anton Winzen, State’s Secretart, and three representatives of the State Council, namely, Thos. E. Reilly, P. Bennan and Jos. F. Guion.
Following the officials were the following societies:
Annunciation Church Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 92).
St. Lawrence O’Toole Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 282).
St. John Nep. Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 692).
Uniformed Rank of the Catholic Knights of America, Company A, under the leadership of Captain Walter, with Krudwig as First Lieutenant and Schwieser as Second Lieutenant and John Beckerkord as Banner Carrier. They were accompanied by Company A of Vincennes, Ind.
St. Michael’s Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 81).
Sacred Heart Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 134).
Holy Name Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (NO. 167).
SS. Peter and Paul Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 248).
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 337).
St. Vincent’s Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 304).
St. Liborius Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 306).
St. Charles Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 86 and 611).
Portage, Mo., Branch of the Catholic Knights of American (No. 369).
Florissant, Mo., Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 400).
Bridgeton, Mo., Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 346).
St. Ann’s (Normandy, Mo.) Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 368).
St. Joseph Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 427).
Perpetual Help Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 552).
St. Engelbert Branch of the Catholic Knights of America (No. 732).
A good representation from St. Mark’s Church at Venice, Ill., led by Father Peter Kaenders.
The Fourth Division—The Marshal for this division was Dr. Otto Reinders, assisted by Messrs. Edw. Olszwiski, Peter Gleich, Hy. Bremehr, Tobias Cordes, F. Darius, J. Ziegler, and B. Toennies.
The organizations that took part in this division were as follows:
St. Louis Branch of the Western Catholic Union No. 46, St. Louis, Mo.
St. Peter’s Branch of the Western Catholic Union No. 60, St. Louis, Mo.
St. Henry’s Branch of the Western Catholic Union No 14, East St. Louis, Ill.
St. Boniface Branch of the Western Catholic Union No. 9, Alton, Ill.
Besides these societies there were also a few other branches of the Western Catholic Union that were not recorded.
After the cornerstone of our new church had been laid the work of construction went on rapidly. By April the 11th (1899) the cross of the new church was erected, glittering, at its height of 150 feet, to the joy of the parishioners. By the 2nd of June the new bells were installed. In the evening of that day church bells were heard for the first time since January of the previous year, however they were really not formally in use until October the 21st.
By October the 21st everything was in readiness for the blessing of the new church, which was to take place on the morrow, October the 22nd. Although the following were still to be installed: (the Confessionals; the Baptismal Font; the Holy Water Fonts and the large lights at the entrance of the Church), nevertheless there was a satisfaction that they could give this new church to Almighty God as a gift upon the occasion of the Golden Jubilee.
[Illeg.] of their Parish, which was to be celebrated in connection with the Blessing of the Church.
The effect of the newly complete church, with its mass of steel, iron and stone, was one of Pride. Its two towers, both 215 feet high, seemed to be conscious of their height, of their strength and of their power—to calm the storms and to quiet the conflict of the elements.
The Parishioners and all who followed with interest the progress of the building were convinced that all the human knowledge, skill and art could make up at the time, were used in order to make this new church one of the most permanent, and lasting structures of its kind in modern architecture.
The stone used came from Bedford, Indiana—it was a solid lime stone. The make-up of the Church was indeed beautiful, though not sacrificing simplicity and practicality. Unlike other churches our church does not have a wide steeple foundation. Instead, the two 215 foot towers and rock vestibule are supported by iron pillars that take the place of the usual foundation, although they appear to be far too weak for its heavy load, they are in reality able to support three times as much.
As to the interior of the Church. The new Church had a seating capacity of 1000; contained a large sanctuary, a sacristy on each side of the sanctuary, being connected by a hallway, a Baptistry which opens to the Church proper and to the vestibule, an outside spiral choir stairway, which takes in the basement, the first floor of the church, the choir loft and the belfry.
The church had many ornamental features. At the time of its completion it was said that it was more ornamental than any other church in the United States, yet it was not overloaded.
The ceiling of the church proper was 67 feet in height and the ceiling above the sanctuary was 85 feet in height.
The Altars were made of seasoned oak wood with rich gilding and decorations, with many beautiful and appropriate statues filling the niches of the Altar.
Certainly such a church was the new Holy Trinity Church was a suitable and valuable gift to Almighty God, for the Golden Jubilee of the Parish’s existence.
The Procession was led by Flottemesch’s Band, followed by men with Papal flags, then six men carrying National flags. Following them came all the school children, dressed for the festive occasion, carrying little flags and the men and young men of the parish, also carrying flags, Papal and National.
The whole procession made a lasting impression both upon those who were in the parade and those who were mere witnesses of the parade. All along the way of march everything was beautifully decorated and people were crowded all along the march. Everyone helped to make the parade a beautiful one. It has been [Illeg.]
On Sunday, October the 22nd, 1899, Holy Trinity Parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee and the Consecration of its newly erected church. Writing about this dual celebration the editor of the German “America” had this to write on the day following the celebration: “Never before did a parish give to Almighty God, as a Jubilee Gift, a grander and more worthy offering of thanksgiving than did the people of Holy Trinity yesterday, when they gave their massive and magnificent church to the service of God.” “Truly the new edifice was costly and entailed many and heavy sacrifices but they were gladly borne and today the Jubilant Parish has it as a model church and as an honor of the whole church.”
At 9:00 A.M., a Procession was formed at the corner of Mallinckrodt and 14th Streets, thence the Procession wended its way about the neighborhood according to the following route: West on Mallinckrodt Street to Blair Avenue; south on Blair Avenue to Buchanan Street; East on Buchanan Street to 14th Street; North on 14th Street to Mallinckrodt Street; east on Mallinckrodt Street to 11th Street; north on 11th Street to Salisbury Street, where they met Archbishop Kain, thence west on Salisbury to Blair Avenue; south on Blair Avenue to Mallinckrodt Street, thence to the entrance of the Church.
As the Procession approached the church those who took part formed an aisle between the church’s entrance and the Rectory for the Archbishop and his carriage to pass through.
The Grand Marshal of the Procession was Mr. Christ Muckermann, assisted by Messrs. F. L. Kayser and F. Krey, each mounted on horses. The Marshals on foot were: Messrs. C. H. Kensche, J. Nies, Chas. Wunderle, B. Winkler, Ph. Klein, H. Kersting, J. Gorting, J. Kotthoff, F. Hoeschen, Geo. Obermeier, J. Hemmerly, J. Bockwinkel and N. Proost.
[Illeg.] said that we can take the words of the “America” literally when it wrote: “…all Bremen glittered in festal garb. All citizens no matter of what creed had their homes decorated for the festive occasion.”
The Ministers of the Mass (at 10:00 A.M.), assisting the Archbishop, were the following: V. G. Msgr. H. Muehlsiepen, Archpriest; Fathers H. B. Kuennan and B. Stemker, Deacons of Honor; Fathers M. S. Brennan and H. Adrian, Masters of Ceremonies; Father J. Hennes, Deacon; Father F. J. Ernst, Sub-Deacon; Messrs. F. Gerhold and Joseph Rapien, Acolytes; Mr. Jos. Kenschu, Cross Bearer; Mr. J. Hoeschen, Thurifer. All the minor ministers were seminarians.
The preacher was the Reverend Father F. Goller, the Pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Parish, who in 1855 celebrated his first mass.
The Most Reverend Archbishop also addressed the faithful.
Father J. Lubeley, our pastor, then assistant pastor at St. Henry’s Church, was one of the 70 visiting priests presided at the celebration.
The choir of 42 members did very well, under the direction of Prof. H. Hoernschemeyer as organist, and choir by Mr. Alex Hennemann as director. The music rendered was liked by both clergy and laity. Much credit went to the late pastor and choir director, Father Brinohff.
Solemn Vespers was conducted by the pastor, the Reverend Father Jos. Schroeder.
[Illeg.] lowing day he celebrated Holy Mass over the grave of our Risen Savior for himself and for all the membeers of his flock. He returned to Hoy Trinity on the 17thh of Septembeer and on the 27th of October he delivered a lecture on “Rome” and bestowed upon all the Papal Blessing, which permission he was granted at his audience with the pope while visiting the Eternal City.
On November 18th the new stations of the cross, donated by Frederich Fischer, were blessed.
On Decembeer 9th Father Joseph A. Siebert replaced Father Joseph Kroeger as assistant priest at Holy Trinity. Father Kroeger had been in the parish since 1895.
Messrs. A. Lagser and Fr. Vossler donated a tower clock to the parish. The first day it ran was May the 25th. The clock was made by Hoffmann and Co., at the cost of $1,865.00.