Holdingford Area Catholic Community


A brief look at the history of the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in Central Minnesota.

The Holdingford Area Catholic Community is a cluster of parishes in Central Minnesota: The Church of All Saints, Holdingford; Immaculate Conception, St. Anna; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Opole; and St. Columbkille, St. Wendel.  In July, 1995, we became the first five-parish cluster in the St. Cloud Diocese.  On June 19, 2011, we became a four-parish cluster when St. Hedwig and St. Mary's formed a new parish called The Church of All Saints.

We welcome the gifts and talents of each member of the community.  If you are interested in becoming an active member of our community, know that you are welcome.  If you have questions, please call the Central Office at (320) 746-2449 or email: fivepoffice@yahoo.com and we would be happy to answer them.  We look forward to you joining us to worship as we work together to build the Kingdom of God.

Church of All Saints

St. Hedwig

Church of All Saints

St. Mary

Immaculate Conception

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

St. Columbkille

Church of All Saints-St. Hedwig, Holdingford

The Polish immigrants of the Holdingford area named their church "St. Hedwig" after a Bavarian princess who married a Polish prince.  The church was built because the Polish immigrants wanted to have services in their own language.  On October 11, 1910, Bishop Trobec laid the cornerstone of the new church of St. Hedwig.  The first services were held on New Year's Eve, 1912, with Father Peter Brenny celebrating Mass and giving the initial blessing.

Church of All Saints-St. Mary, Holdingford

The founding fathers of Holding's (Randolph Holding) Ford were of Scotch-Irish descent.  St. Mary's Church was built on the west bank of the Two Rivers river on a hill overlooking the village of Holding's Ford.  The church was completed in 1885 under the direction of Father Xavier William White, O.S.B.  St. Mary's  was a growing and thriving parish.  In 1914, permission was given by Bishop Trobec to build a new St. Mary's Church nearer to the village businesses (at its present location).  On October 20, 1915, the new Bishop of St. Cloud, Joseph F. Busch arrived to dedicate the new church and rectory.

Immaculate Conception, St. Anna

Immaculate Conception Church was built in 1887 by Polish settlers in the area of Pelican Lake. The small wood-framed church was built in 1887 and dedicated on September 21, 1887.  The first pastor was Father Chowaniec.  On June 28, 1902, the church burned to the ground.  The current yellow brick church was built in the winter of 1902.  The solemn blessing was held on October 14, 1903 by Bishop Trobec.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Opole

Father Peter Chowaniec, pastor of St. Stanislaus Church in Swan River (Sobieski) did the groundwork of gathering families around Opole to form a mission in 1887.  Fr. John Stroka was the first pastor from 1887 - 1889.  The second pastor in charge of the Opole mission was Father James Wojcik, who also had the St. Anna and  Maples (St. Wendel) missions.  Our Lady of Mount Carmel served the Polish settlers from St. Cloud because they did not have a Polish church until 1901.


St. Columbkille, St. Wendel

Even before the Diocese of St. Cloud was formed, the Mission of St. Columbkille was organized; it was then an outpost of the Diocese of St. Paul.  The location of this outpost was called "Maples" after the beautiful maple trees surrounding the area.   The name of Maples was used until 1945.  The area was settled by mainly Irish and Scottish immigrants.  A church was constructed in 1877 and dedicated on November 4, 1877 by Abbot Alexius Edelbrock.  The church was served by Benedictine priests for 23 years.
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