Church to celebrate 100 years

During an era when church attendance has declined around the country, one institution has stood the test of time.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church will celebrate 100 years of worship on Nov. 13. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
Holy Trinity Catholic Church will celebrate 100 years of worship on Nov. 13. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.net

During an era when church attendance has declined around the country, one institution has stood the test of time.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Hettinger.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, the church will celebrate 100 years of worship, and all are invited to join the festivities.

Four previous pastors, and a bishop from the Diocese in Bismarck, will be attending mass, which will start at 10:30 a.m. at the church. A fifth pastor wasn’t able to attend due to health related issues, but he has sent a message to be read aloud. A meal and a reception for celebration will be held after mass at the Hettinger Armory.

A Large Church History

The church, which actually has a history of beginning as early as 1905, was in the beginning stages when land was purchased in 1911. According to the Feb. 16, 1911 issue of the Adams County Record, Rev. Father Bacher of Bowman raised $1,200 and purchased land near Hettinger High School.

In 1916, Holy Trinity Catholic Church was officially established as a parish with Father John Halloran as resident pastor. The church would practice their faith at the original location for the next seven years before the congregation outgrew the sanctuary.

The church was moved to a new location one block north of U.S. Highway 12 and one block east of the courthouse.

In 1948 expansion was again required. The new building is the one still in practice today. It gave parishioners a larger worship center, a choir loft, and one of the more important improvements—the inclusion of a basement. Prior to the new building, records indicate that social gatherings were held at the gymnasium of Hettinger High School.

According to historical records, the cornerstone of the new church was laid by Bishop Vincent Ryan of Bismarck in the fall of 1948. Construction was completed during the winter of 1949, with formal declaration in June of 1950.

The current building has endured many renovations from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s.

A Series of Firsts

John Joseph Tanous was the first baby to be baptized in the Catholic church on July 16, 1916. Tanous was the son of Deep and Anna Zapata Tanous and grew up in Hettinger. He spent five years in the military before he died in an airplane crash in 1948 in Pasoc, Wash.

The first marriage officiated in the church after being established as a parish was between Mr. and Mrs. Dave Johnstone on Feb. 14, 1917, Valentine’s Day.

A first class of communion for the boys occurred sometime in the 1920s. The first class consisted of eight boys.

Many Pastors For A Church

The Holy Trinity Catholic Church has had many fathers at the altar. Before 1916, and as early as 1908, the church had visiting pastors from other area churches lead worship until 1916, when Rev. Father John Halloran took over. Since then, the church in Hettinger has had 24 other pastors lead worship, culminating with Father Stephen O. Folorunso in July 2013.

Currently the church has 130 families that attend mass and participate in fellowship with one another. The building is strong, the faith is great, and the church would like the community to celebrate with them.







GAMES