Morris-area Catholics are celebrating 150 years of Catholicism in west central Minnesota with a series of Masses and religious observances during a Parish Eucharistic Holy Year.
It begins August 14 and ends on October 7, 2020, at the Assumption Catholic Church in Morris. The Holy Year starts on Wednesday, August 14, the eve of the Feast of the Assumption, at 5:30 p.m. with a vigil Mass at Assumption Church, followed on Thursday with a 10 a.m. Mass at West Wind Village. Then at 11:30 the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration at the church. There will be benediction at 7:30 p.m, followed by Mass.
It was in 1870 that Fathers Hurley and McDermott from St. Paul said the first Mass at a railway section house in Morris. According to reports, Catholics came from a four county area to attend Mass as this area was just starting to be developed and railroads were being built through the area.
These and other priests continued to come to Morris until 1876 when Father Walsh was assigned fulltime. A year later, Father Charles Wensick came to Morris, and a small church was built. A few years later the church was enlarged. In 1892, a large brick-veneered church was built. It burned in 1905, and in 1906 the present church was constructed. This church remains much the same outside as when it was built. The exception is the steeple. The taller pointed steeple was struck by lighting in 1940, and the shorter one was built.
The present pastor, Rev. Todd Schneider, invites everyone to attend the Holy Year events.