Church of Saint Boniface


The History of the Church of Saint Boniface

1855 The Fuchs, Theis, Hansen, Maselter, Kirsch and Jacoby families are the first six pioneer families to settle in the area.
1856 "Cold Spring City" is platted and settled by Joseph J. Gibson and Seth Turner. Catholics attend Mass at Jacob's Prairie.
1877 The first Assumption Chapel is built in honor of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to rid the area of a grasshopper plague.
1878 The Church of Saint Boniface is established, with 70 families. Father Leo Winter, OSB, is named its first pastor, thus starting an association between the parish and Saint John's Abbey that continues today. A rectory (on the site of the current church) and a basement church (later completed and currently the parish center) are constructed and a first Mass celebrated. On November 1, the first funeral and burial is celebrated for Ann Lauer. Bernard Klein is the first person to be baptized.
1879 Saint Boniface's first marriage is that of Joseph Weismann and Anna Kellner.
1884 The upper portion of the church is completed and is dedicated the following year. The parish's first lay organization, the Saint Joseph Society, is founded.
1889 Saint Boniface becomes part of the newly formed Diocese of Saint Cloud.
1894 The first Assumption Chapel is destroyed by a tornado. The statue of the Virgin Mary survives. 1904 the Church of Saint Boniface is incorporated.
1905 The "Maria Hilf" chapel is built in Saint Boniface cemetery and dedicated to Saint Mary Help of Christians, in memory of Marcus Maurin, a prominent member of the community.
1912 Electric lights are installed in the church and rectory.
1916 The parish's first grade school is built west of the rectory .The first Benedictine sisters come from Saint Joseph to teach, thus beginning decades of loyal service to Saint Boniface.
1920 Sister Incarnata Girgen, OSB, and Prof. Joseph Theisen begin the first high school classes in two rooms of the new grade school.
1926 A well-equipped high school (on the site of the current Rocori District Educational Facility) is built, with a gym-auditorium-stage area on the second floor and bowling lanes in the basement.
1936 Father Victor Ronellenfitsch, OSB, begins the first year of his 18-year pastorate, the longest in parish history.
1943 The Maurin mansion is acquired as a convent.
1944 Sermons in German are discontinued.
1951 A new Assumption Chapel, built of granite by local talent, is erected on the Chapel Hill site of the original 1877 chapel.
1952 An addition to the back of the Sister's convent is completed.
1960 A large granite-clad addition connecting Saint Boniface Grade and High Schools is constructed. Several classrooms, a gymnasium, library, band room, heating plant, separate shop building, and cafeteria are included.
1963 Assumption Nursing Home opens.
1964 English replaces Latin in the Mass, and other changes are effected, as a result of the Vatican II Council convened by Pope John XXII in 1962.
1965 An art, music, and stage area is added to the west side of Saint Boniface High School's gym.
1966 Sister Bernice Knelleken, OSB principal of Saint Boniface High School for eighteen years, bids farewell.
1967 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) instruction begins.
1968 The last class graduates from Saint Boniface High School. The Parish Council is established.
1974 Saint Boniface's school buildings are sold to Rocori District 750.
1978 The parish celebrates its centennial year on June 4th, with 869 registered families, and votes to build a new church. The original rectory is demolished to make room for the new construction. Ground is broken for the new church on October 29.
1980 The new Saint Boniface Catholic Church and School are completed and blessed. The 1884 church is transformed into a parish center. The John Paul Apartments open.
1982 The Maurin mansion becomes the parish rectory and administrative offices.
1996 Assumption Court Apartments are built.
1999 A house at 22 N. 5th Avenue is acquired for the Elementary Religious Education.  This house currently is rented to the Casa Guadalupe Multicultural Ministries of Cold Spring.
2003 Saint Boniface celebrates its 125th anniversary.
2004  The 1884 church is demolished to make room for additional classroom space, gymnasium and Parish Center.  In October, the new addition is blessed by Bishop John Kinney.
2007 On March 19 construction of the new bell tower is completed. The three bells ring on April 8, Easter 2007. View the construction of the bell tower on the Saint Boniface website.
2013  On June 30, Father Cletus Connors, OSB, ended his sixteen year pastorate, the second longest in Saint Boniface history.
2014  The new Marrin Organ, opus XI, is completed and blessed by Bishop Donald Kettler.  The parish also completed a year-long campaign to replace the original sound and lighting systems of the 1980 church.