|Pictures taken Sunday, August 1, 2004|
HOLY ROSARY PARISH
The beginnings of Rosary Parish, like all the other parishes in St. Joseph's Colony were hard and difficult.
Mr. John Feist, on of the first settlers to take up a homestead on the bare prairie near the church, and who later had a son who became a priest, recalls the following:
"In 1910, I left Djamin (Crimea, Russia) with Peter Fuchs (now in Holdfast), Michael Schroeder (deceased), George Jest with his family, George Koenig and family, George Beckel, Friedrich Feist, Andreas Schroeder, Andrew Krist -- a total of 63 person. We were persuaded to emigrated by a report written by Father Laufer and Mr. Lange. Our original aim was Tramping Lake, where we hoped to take up homesteads, but we were too late. We decided to look further west and we arrived upon the area which today is Rosary Parish. We were overjoyed when we met the settlers Ferdinand Wildemann, Th. W. Wildemann, C. Wildemann, W. Wildemann, P. Boser with his sons Anton, Joseph, John, Peter N. Birn, G.C.A and B. Schell, J. Waltz, J. Ehrreiser, W. Feist, M. Wagner, and three sons, W. Hobbelsperger, J. Stabler with three sons, and Joseph Hufnagel. As everywhere, else, the first beginnings required great courage. We had to be content with the poorest of shelter which afforded a little protection against the wind and weather. Our animals have better barns today than we had homes at that time. True, each had a homestead, but with that alone one could not exist. It meant getting to work as quickly as possible. Those who still had some of the money they had bought with them from the old homeland, could purchase the basic necessities -- if they could make themselves understood -- not knowing English. With some settlers the lard pail was chief cook. By the time I arrived, the C.N.R. (earlier Grand Trunk Pacific Railway) was built about twenty-two miles north of us at the station of Unity. For us that was a great distance. How inconvenient it must have been in earlier days, when the very first settlers had to travel to Battleford ninety miles away to make their purchases. At that time, without a doubt, it took a full week to make the trip with oxen, especially in the summer when the thirsty animals wanted to stop at every puddle for a drink. Life would have been easier if one could have made himself understood easily in English. We often chuckled over the pantomimes and gestures in the stores when we tried to by something.
"Although we came from different regions in Russia and here were living together in one area, all had the one desire of a church. In the meantime services were held by the Oblate priests, Father Forner and Father Palm, usually in the home of Ferdinand Wildermann. After 1911 we were regularly visited by Father Schultz."
Thus the report of Mr. John Feist.
Holy Rosary Parish