Father LaJeunesse

By 1900, the population of Fort Collins had grown to 3153, of whom less than a third were Catholic. The original location of the church on Riverside was not very good so Father LaJeunesse bought land at Mountain and Howes Streets, the present location of the parish, for a new church. Some parishioners opposed his plans, feeling that a new church would be too large and expensive.

Born, July 5, 1862 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Father LaJeunesse was reared near Montreal, Canada, and studied for the priesthood in that city. Archbishop Fabre of Montreal ordained him on July 25, 1889, and for the first six years of his priesthood he was assigned as chaplain to several Orders of Sisters and Brothers. In November of 1895, he arrived in Denver, serving as assistant pastor of the cathedral for eight months, and then being assigned as the first resident pastor at Lake City for two years and four months. He next spent five months in Gunnison, until on April 21, 1899 Bishop Matz sent

him to St. Joseph. At that time the number of parishioners totaled about a thousand, and there

were seventy-five children in religion classes.

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