Friday, July 11, 2008

Holy Family Catholic Church, Little Falls, MN

Holy Family, just north of Little Falls is the oldest parish in the Diocese of St. Cloud. The first Mass was celebrated here by Fr. Francis Xavier Pierz (a significant and ambitious missionary) in 1852, when the settlement was then known as "LaCroix" and later "Belle Prairie." As late as 1916, parish records were still written in French.

The present church was built in 1877, and is actually stucco over stone, with the walls being roughly two feet thick. The entrance space was added in 2000.

A very unique window to the right of the sanctuary depicts Pope Leo XIII (who was pope from 1878-1903) in a boat with Jesus, surrounded by stormy seas.
A window in the gathering space depicts a favorite of mine, St. Isidore the Farmer - who also liked to visit churches!

An outdoor shrine pays homage to the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who were founded here in 1872 by Elizabeth Hayes (Mother Mary Ignatius of Jesus). These sisters also ran the nearby Our L
ady of the Angels Academy, which was closed in 1970 and has recently received a new life as Riverwood Pines Apartments. A replica of the order's first Motherhouse - actually a log cabin - is near the shrine.
A memorial to the Blessed Sacrament near the former convent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, the last time I saw the interior of Holy Family was about 50 years ago. Some nice changes, both inside and out. I grew up in the area about 1/2 south of the church on river road. Went to OLAA (Our Lady of Angels Academy) for 7 years; graduating in 1955. After high school, enlisted in the Navy occasionally returning home on leave while parents were still living. For a number of years I and my brothers were the the principal (and sometimes only) altarboys for the parish. I remember Fr Pellet who passed in 1949. His successor was a priest who had converted from Protestantism, Fr Robert Smith. Cheers