"One Nation Under God"
by Sue Orsen

Which came first -- the chicken or the egg?  The farm or the flag?  Rural life or religion?
The community of Victoria came into existence shortly after the Catholic brothers Carl and Michael Diethelm and their wives and children settled in this area in the mid 1850's.  The Village of Victoria developed as both a rural and religious community under the flag of the United States of America. 
It was in 1857 that Victoria acquired its first church, the St. Victoria Catholic Church.  In 1866 the first threshing machine in this rural community was operated by Wendelin Grimm, who also gained fame for having produced the only known strain of alfalfa that could withstand Minnesota winters.  Mr. Grimm and his Grimm Alfalfa have been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture.
It was therefore fitting and proper that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis came to celebrate Rural Life Sunday, 2002, at the farm of Clarence and Dorothy Kelzer, members of the St. Victoria Catholic Parish.  In addition to being a prominent farmer and rural life man, Clarence is a great grandson of Wendelin Grimm. 
Over 800 people from throughout the Archdiocese came to celebrate the goodness of the land and appreciate the rural roots of our community.  The day opened with an outdoor Mass on Sunday morning, June 23rd, 2002 ... under a few sprinkles from heaven that gave way to a glorious day ... under the sun ... under the personal blessing of Archbishop Harry Flynn ... under the flag of the United States of America ... under God.  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.


Many photos
and muchstory
of Rural Life Sunday 2002
are located in Sue's Album
at www.VictoriaGazette.com.