Rural Life Sunday-2002

The Victoria community, founded in the 1850's by Catholic pioneers,  is located in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, an archdiocese that celebrates "Rural Life Sunday" each summer to recognize and honor its past.  It is a special day to celebrate the goodness of the land, encourage good stewardship, and appreciate the rural roots of our community.  This year's Archdiocesan Rural Life Sunday was celebrated on Sunday, June 23rd, at the farm of Clarence and Dorothy Kelzer, members of the St. Victoria Catholic Church.  Their beautiful farm, which is located about two miles south of downtown Victoria, drew over 800 people from near and far.  We were also graced with the presence of Archbishop Harry Flynn.  It was a remarkable day. 

We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The large historical home on the 300-acre Kelzer farm was built in 1908 by Clarence's grandparents, Hubert and Ottilia Kelzer.  Ottilia was the daughter of famous alfalfa farmer, Wendelin Grimm and his wife Julianna Grimm.

A Holstein cow, that one whose bellow joined the St. Victoria Choir during Mass, nudges noses here with a member of the younger generation.

The outdoor altar was adorned with colorful and cascading annuals as well as banners and posters brought to the farm from St. Victoria.

Mass began at 10:45 a.m. with Archbishop Harry Flynn near the altar, beneath the flag, and on the farm!  "Surely God must sometimes be also smiling at us," said the Archbishop.

Blooming begonias match the beanie cap and tunic stripes of the Archbishop.  Together the coordinating colors frame Clarence and Dorothy Kelzer seated in the front row.

The Peter and Paul Wendinger Band from New Ulm, Minnesota, provided entertainment and old tyme German and Swiss music that complimented the heritage of the community. 

Decked out in costumes reflecting their German heritage, Clarence and Dorothy join others who enjoyed a little time on the dance floor.

"No Smoking!"  And certainly not in the hay!  The dapper fellow is none other than J. B. Hidding, the father of St. Victoria parishioner George Hidding.  The senior Hibbing, who hails from Shorewood, is part of the Honor Guard for the Shakopee Knights of Columbus, a group that contributed pomp to the circumstance of Rural Life Sunday-2002.

Many people had fun sporting the notorious milk moustache.

Jim Hubbard and Darla Diethelm, scooping salad to those in the food line, were two of over 300 volunteers from St. Victoria who helped make the day a success.

Hi, Patrick and June Henning from St. Victoria.  Thanks for cooking the delicious brats.

Hey, George Hidding with the apron, was that your father in the hay a couple snapshots ago?  Hi, Thirsty Tom Walsh and Handsome Bill Blinstrop of the Victoria Fire Department.

Twins near the Twin Cities!  Sometimes people turned around in the food line because it was so long.  But they always came back again because it smelled and tasted so good.

Father Martin Sebenaler from nearby St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Waconia enjoyed the shade of the huge dining tent, along with friends and visitors from St. Joe's.

Hi, Franciscan Father Conran Schneider, whose roots hail from St. Victoria and the farming commu-nity of nearby Lake Bavaria.  Other priests with Victoria roots who helped with the Rural Life Mass were Father Larry Blake (current Victoria resident family man!) and Father Landelin Robling, OSB.

Always on the side of life -- be it rural or suburban or metropolitan -- or unborn -- you'll find former Carver County Commissioner Al Klingelhutz and his wife Mary of Chanhassen.    They are members of the St. Hubert Catholic Church in Chanhassen.

It wasn't cornball or cornbread or corncob, but it was sorta corny.  Hi, K. C. Coon, member at St. Victoria, and  Jeff Charlton, administrator at St. Victoria.

Hi, Margaret Hanson and Diane Robinson of St. Victoria on the fence.  The little one looking at us through the fence (see her?) and the big one inside the fence are hereby not identified properly.  The big one, however, does belong, along with 150 others, to Steve Kelzer, son of Clarence and Dorothy, who raises "Springing Holsteins" and  sells them to dairy men when they're ready to be milked.

Hi, Peggy Doerrie, Diane Robinson, Pam Schmillen, Claudia Derr, Margaret Hanson, and Sharon Schindler -- all of St. Victoria -- and Plaid Shirt Man.

A Tractor Tour took hundreds of visitors out to Kelzer's pastureland to see the second largest tree in Minnesota, this according to the Dept. of Natural Resources.  The first largest is located in Delano.

Hi, Father Bob White, priest at St. Victoria, and parishioners Pat and Michelle McNallan.

Hi, Father Bob, and brother in law Jim Triggs and two of Jim's kids, Kyle and Carolyn. 

Hi, Father Bob and mother June White from Edina, MN.  Hi, Katie Triggs, sister of Father Bob, and little Mary Triggs.  Another little Triggs, Emily by name, was participating in a swim meet out in California.

Hi, Linda Murakami, St. Victoria Co-chair of the Planning and Organizing Committee for this Rural Life Sunday, and Dale Hennen, Director of Rural Life Office for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Dale's wife Ellie Barrett, daughter Sadie, and puppy Fionn (it's Irish) share the sun and shade on this shimmering summer day.

Hi, St. Victoria Administrative Assistant Joni Jeurissen (left), and St. Victoria Volunteer Marge Diethelm, wife of Planning and Organizing Co-chair Ken Diethelm.

The old but shiny and working tractors -- brought over by Tom Diethelm -- added atmosphere and nostalgia to the scene and the conversation.

The barn on the farm was built in 1927 by Clarence's dad for $4,400.  The array of tractors is both older and newer than the barn.  Is that the editor's husband with the black shorts?

Thank you, Victoria Fire Department, for being on call on the farm in the event of an emergency.

Father Bob likes having his picture taken, especially with Archbishop Harry Flynn.

So does the editor.

"It was a great day lots of sun lots of fun thanks for being here thanks for having me come for coffee next week pray for me "

" and thanks for the chocolate malt."

The End

Love, Sue