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Assumption Parish - Florian MN

A parish history from the 1975 Silver Jubilee Book

In 1881 Stanislas Gryglaszewski, a land agent from Chicago, sold some land east of Stephen to Polish settlers. This settlement was named after him, Stanislawo. In early 1900 it was changed to Florian. It received its present name from Father Florian Matuszewski, a former pastor of Assumption.

The roots of the Assumption Church go down to the year 1881 when on December 8, in the blockhouse of Mr. Szuflatowski, the first Mass was offered by Father A. Greenholz. In the following year a 30 by 50 foot church was built six miles northwest from the present location of the church, in section 35 in the township of Augsburg. A cemetery was located close by and exists until today adorned by a concrete cross erected by the late Frank Kurowski, Sr.

In 1894 the church was moved to the new location in Section 5, Township of Wright. In 1895 the church was enlarged and remodeled. By 1900 the dimensions were 36 by 63 feet, with a new tower 70 feet high.

In 1899 the parsonage was built east of the church, the pastors having previously resided in Section 35 of Augsburg and later Section 6, Wright.

A new cemetery was also opened on the new location.

On September 5, 1906, the church was destroyed by fire caused by lightning. It was rebuilt the following year upon the old foundation.

On June 13,1919 the rectory burned down. At a cost of about $6,000 it was immediately rebuilt.

The sixth of May, 1930, the church again was destroyed by fire. During the same year the parishioners started to build a new church, but not again of wood, this time of concrete and brick. By November first services were held in the new basement.

In 1935, four bells were donated by a former pastor, Father Anton Drewnicki of Leo, in honor the golden jubilee of his priesthood. The bells were cast by the Stuckstede Bell Company of St. Louis, Missouri. The weight of the bells ranges between 300 and 1600 pounds.

The dedication ceremony for the bells was held on Wednesday, November 27, 1935, the day before Thanksgiving. The heaviest of the bells is dedicated to St. Anthony, patron saint of the donor. The second is dedicated to St. Peter, head of the Apostles and first supreme head of the Church of Christ. The third bell is dedicated to St. Stanislaus, patron of the parish territory before it received the name of Florian. The smallest bell is dedicated to St. Michael, the Archangel of God in heaven, who under his battle cry "Who is like God" fought victoriously the first battle in heaven and is therefore our protector against the spirits of evil.

Two sponsors, who bore the same name as the bells were assigned to each of the bells. The sponsors were: Anton Kuznia, Anton Budziszewski, Peter Kurowski, Peter Kasprowicz, Stanley Rominski, Sr., Stanley Price, Sr., Michael Kasprowicz and Michael Kuznia.

A temporary belfry had been erected for the bells to serve until such a time as the superstructure of the new church building would receive them in its lofty tower.

The trustees of Assumption Church since 1900 until the building of the present church were:

John Gratzek and Martin Pietruszewski
Peter Lubarski and Ignacy Zakrzewski
Peter Gajewski and John Gajewski
Bernard Kaliszewski and Anton Budziszewski
Stanley Banaszewski and Stanley Price
William Borowicz and Casmir Blazejewski
John Gratzek and Mike Kuznia
John F. Gajeski and Peter Kurowski

Pastors Who Served the Assumption Church

1883-1884 Rev. A. Greenholz
1884-1886 Rev. Czesias Chowaniec
…………. Rev. Olszanowski
…………. Rev. Peszczynski
1890-1895 Rev. Michael Sengir
1895-1898 Rev. M. Mikiaszewski (residing in Stephen)

1898-1902 Rev. Ladislas Naturski
1903-1904 Rev. Florian Matuszewski
1904-1905 Rev. A. Kulawy, O.M.I.
1905-1911 Rev. Peter Podlecki
1911-1912 Rev. Zdisias Rozanski
1911-1912 Rev. Andrew Stojar, O.M.I. (tem-porary pastor)
1912-1913 Rev. Michael Pulit
1913-1914 Rev. F. Taborski
1914-1918 Rev. Anton Drewnicki
1918-1928 Rev. Hipolit Skopowski
1928------- Rev. J. B. Gans
1928-1946 Rev. Francis Kosian, O.M.I.
Rev. John Bedarz, O.M.I. (temporary pastor)

History of the New Church

The present church of the Assumption of Florian was used for the first time at Christmas Mass at midnight Christmas Eve, 1949. Although the church had much work left to be done it was in regular use thereafter. A beautiful Baldwin organ was installed in time for the Christmas Mass, a gift of the youth of the parish. The church was dedicated by Bishop Francis J. Schenk on July 4, 1950.

The cost of the structure was $100,000. The cost of the structure was kept so low because most of the work was done by the men of the parish. Father Michael Wisniewski, O.M.I., pastor at the time, was chiefly responsible for this project with Stephen Meush as architect.

The twin spires of the 48x149 foot Romanesque building can be seen jutting into the sky from every approach to the Florian community. Towering 72 feet into the sky the gold plated crosses glisten in the sun. At night a red light beams from each cross's center. They were blessed by Bishop Francis J. Schenk in a special ceremony on July 31, 1949.

The four bells which had been presented to the Assumption Parish by a former pastor, Father Anton Drewnicki, are housed in the spires. On a pedestal between the two spire's there is a large and beautiful statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It depicts Mary's Assumption.

The exterior construction of the church consists of brown-toned brick with detailed white and ivory trim. The church has a rusty red roof.

The interior of the church is spacious indeed, with rounded ceiling, choir and organ loft, crying room for infants and beautiful altar space. To the left of the altar is a small room which housed the chapel, but at present is the church library and classroom. The floor has been laid of a composition known as magnazite, a resilient material designed to soften footsteps and aid the acoustics. It is composed of a solution of marble chips, magnesium chloride and magnesium. It has a hard glass-like finish. Beautiful and ornate plaster scrolls, Romanesque Columns, crosses and medallions were made for trim detail.

Heating is accomplished through use of a hot air system.

In the spring of 1953 stained glass windows representing the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary were donated by individual families. The rosette window which is in the choir loft was purchased by the Catholic Youth Organization of the parish.

In 1956, under the pastorate of Father Paul Ischler, the painting and decoration of the interior was completed by the A. P. Jackson family of St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to painting the entire interior in three harmonizing shades of ivory, the artists decorated all the unpainted ornamentations of the building. After highlighting basic ornamentations in gold, the artists painted the angel heads and pilasters in natural colors with wings of the angels highlighted in gold. A pale green was used to accent the pilasters. A series of emblems representing the Mysteries of the Rosary and located on the upper wall were given a full color treatment. Through the use of lights the gold and silver stars in the sky blue sanctuary ceiling are made to shine with a natural effect at night. The main altar was redesigned at this time. White and gold trim were applied to the altar by the Jackson family. A statue of the Blessed Mother, located in the sanctuary was also lowered so that it seemed to form a part of the main altar. With the use of an amber light shining on the statue, the illusion of dawn is created A set of plaster of Paris stations of the cross were fashioned by members of the parish and painted by the Jackson family.

The Polish National Alliance is credited for supplying funds for the recessed lights installed in the ceiling of the church. Lights for the stations of the cross were donated by the Catholic Youth Organization. The original debt which had accumulated during the building of the church had been paid off during the years Father Ischler was pastor of Assumption.

In 1962, when Father Al Burak became our pastor, we started thinking about the remodeling of the church hall, Shortly thereafter, under his guidance, the kitchen was remodeled by putting marlite on the walls and installing more cabinets, The floor of the hall was raised to prepare it for the laying of tile. Rest rooms were installed in the entry of the church hall.

Between 1964 and 1969 when Father Jerome Datko was pastor, the church hall was completely remodeled, Paneling was put on the walls. The floors throughout the hail were completely tiled, The tables and chairs were purchased for the church hall to accommodate the many weddings and festivities that we've had and will have in the future.

During Father Raymond Quesnel's pastorate the microphones were Installed in memory of the late Daniel Borowicz.

Since 1971 when Father Joseph Menker became pastor. the church hall had folding accordion doors installed to make more classroom space. The roof was completely church has been furnished with these new items; a baptismal font, the crucifix above the tabernacle, a holy water fountain, a new processional cross, a matching paschal candle stand and sanctuary lamp. The altar space has also been beautified by having all these items donated by individual families of the parish. A new altar was made by Mr. Pavlik, the father of Father James Pavlik of St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Pavlik also made a matching credence table which holds the Mass water and wine, and two matching lecterns and a matching altar bookstand. The tabernacle door on the main altar has been refinished in gold. New furniture has been added to the altar area.

The trustees during the last twenty-five years were:

Thomas Pletruszewski and Andrew Rominskl
William Sczepanski and Mike Kuznia
Joseph Kazmierczak and Edward Rogus

Present trustees:

Evald Kostrzewski and John Borowicz

The Pastors Were:

1946-1953 Rev. Michael Wisniewski, O.M.I.
1953-1962 Rev. Paul Ischier, O.M.I.
1962-1964 Rev. Alexander Burak, O.M.I.
1964-1969 Rev. Jerome Datko, O.M.I.
1969-1970 Rev. Raymond Quesnel, O.M.I.
1970-1971 Rev. Joseph Menker, O.M.I.
1971……. Rev. Paul Grzesiak, O.M.I.
1971-Now Rev. Joseph Menker, O.M.I.

As we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Assumption Church, we feel that the church is in tip-top shape through the generous efforts of all our pastors and lay people.

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Last Updated on October 18, 2011