REGINA — Holy Trinity Parish celebrated a double anniversary at its Sept. 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 council.
Corinne Pirot, music director at O’Neill High School, put together some seasoned voices from around Regina to form the choir that performed for the anniversary celebration. The congregation obviously appreciated the music, as the choir was enthusiastically applauded at the end of mass.
Holy Trinity CWL members 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 friends in the 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 the CWL.
In the mid-1960s, Regina’s northwest Regent Park area was, and remains today, a rapidly growing residential district, and Catholics living there wanted a church in their own area. Holy Trinity was formally established in 1967, Canada’s centennial year. Land for the church was obtained in 1968 and fundraising began in earnest. By 1974, Holy Trinity’s distinctive shape dominated the neighbourhood at the corner of Sherwood Dr. and Macintosh St.
By the time the church was ready for occupancy, St. Mary School (now École 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: a gymnasium for the school and a temporary home for Holy Trinity services. The CWL established a council for the parish and a 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 Knights of Columbus Council #10401.
Archbishop Donald Bolen celebrated the anniversary mass, assisted by pastor Rev. Ron Andree and Deacon Joe Lang. Andree has a dual role in the archdiocese: he also serves as liturgy director. In his homily, Bolen lauded the parish for its leadership in what continues to be a growing community. 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, 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.
Winnipeg Archbishop Emeritus James Weisgerber and Rev. Don McNeil, both former Holy Trinity pastors, attended the mass and took part in the celebrations. Weisgerber was parish priest at the time Holy Trinity had to be divided, which led to the establishment of Holy Family Parish. Bolen identified 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.