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Holy Trinity Celebrates 50 Years

by Frank Flegel

Holy Trinity parish celebrated a double anniversary at its regular September 9 Saturday evening mass. It was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Holy Trinity as a parish and the 50th anniversary of the local Catholic Woman’s League (CWL) Council.

Corinne Pirot, Music Director at O’Neill High School, put together some seasoned choir voices from around Regina to form the choir group that performed for the anniversary celebration. The congregation obviously appreciated their music as the choir was enthusiastically applauded at the end of Mass.

CWL members of Holy Trinity parish were in evidence wearing their traditional shoulder sashes. Several former CWL and parish members came back to the church to attend the celebration, and church members greeted returning old friends in the church foyer before and after the mass. Velma Harasen, North American Vice-President of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Leagues attended the anniversary Mass and brought congratulations, representing the National Council of CWL.

In the mid-1960’s, Regina’s northwest Regent Park area was, and remains today, a rapidly growing residential district, and Catholics living there wanted the convenience of a church in their own area. Holy Trinity Parish was formally established in 1967 which was Canada’s Centennial year. Land for the church was obtained in 1968 and fund raising began in earnest.  By 1974, Holy Trinity’s distinctive shape dominated the neighborhood at the corner of Sherwood Drive and Macintosh Street.

By the time the church was ready for occupancy, St. Mary School (now Ecole St. Mary) which is just around the corner from the church, was already in use for Holy Trinity parishioners. Initially, St. Mary School gymnasium served a dual purpose - gymnasium for the school and a temporary home for Holy Trinity church services. The Catholic Women’s League (CWL) established a council for the parish and a very active men’s club was formed to carry out fund raising in support of the church and community activities. The men’s club remained active until 1990 when members voted it out of existence with the establishment of Council #10401 of the Knights of Columbus.

Archbishop Donald Bolen celebrated the anniversary Mass assisted by Pastor Reverend Ron Andree and Deacon Joe Lang. Reverend Andree has a dual role in the Archdiocese; he also serves as Liturgy Director. In his homily Archbishop Bolen lauded the parish for its leadership in what continues to be a growing community in the Regent Park area of Regina. He referred specifically to the 1979 establishment of Holy Family Parish further to the northwest of the city as the result of overcrowding at Holy Trinity and the need to form a new parish. As he often does, Archbishop Bolen also talked about mercy, and about healing and forgiveness, to bring healing to the community and to the world. “Forgiveness is essential in building community,” he said.

Archbishop James Weisgerber and Reverend Don McNeil, both former Holy Trinity pastors, attended the celebration Mass and took part in the celebrations. Weisgerber is Winnipeg Archbishop Emeritus and has recently retired to Regina. He was parish priest at the time Holy Trinity had to be divided and which led to the establishment of Holy Family parish. Archbishop Bolen identified Archbishop Weisgerber as the oldest living former pastor of Holy Trinity, much to the amusement of the congregation.

The anniversary celebration continued with a reception in the church basement hall following the mass. A large cake to commemorate the occasion was cut and distributed.