Monsignor Eugene O’Sullivan

Monsignor Eugene O’Sullivan

In October of 1935, Father (later Monsignor) Eugene O’Sullivan replaced Father Wogan and became the administrator of the parish. Archbishop Vehr appointed Father Leo Gales, O.S.M., as assistant.

Until 1938, two Masses were offered in the church each Sunday, but because of the growing congregation, a third Sunday Mass was added that year. About 230 families comprised the parish, with a school enrollment at about 130, it having held steady since the opening of the school.The church developed its own choir, as was noted by the local newspaper, shortly after 1938, during a Christmas season. Members of the choir included Mrs. William Thompson, Jr., Mrs. Russell Robinson, Mrs. Jane Rist Post, and Mrs. Maurice Miller, who were all sopranos. The altos were Mrs. Randall Yates, Mrs. Preston Murphy, and Mrs.

G.W. Tompkin. The tenor section was made up of Charles Post, Harry Falk, and James Robinson. Clarence Knuffke, Preston Murphy, Arthur Knuffke, and Charles Willox comprised the basses. Mrs. Fred J. Baines was the accompanist, and the Preston Murphy was the choir director.

Father John Cavanagh, who would later be pastor, addressed the 1940 graduating class of St. Joseph School, the largest class of graduates in the school’s fifteen-year history – nine boys and seven girls. Father Cavanagh spoke on the education of children. After receiving their diplomas, the graduates had breakfast together. They were: John Clerkin, Walter Hammett, Paul Moyers, Bernard Robidoux, James Stadelman, Robert Olp, George Brooks, Albert Saracino, Frank Wehling, Catherine Powers, Arlene Speas, Patricia Murphy, Sadie Morris, Remola Setzer, Agnes Verellen and Bernice Orleans.

Archbishop Vehr

Archbishop Vehr visited Fort Collins occasionally to confirm the students in the school, as he did in 1947 when about 100 children and adults were confirmed.

Father Reycraft’s historical accounting noted that Mrs. Coffin, a parishioner at the time, recalled that the parish held a mission in the 1940’s, and the priest who was conducting it had a question box for the use of the congregation. One question asked was “Do the Catholics think that they are the only ones who go to heaven?” Father replied by saying that a man died and went to heaven and St. Peter showed him around. He saw that there were many denominations there, and behind a fence was one group laughing and having a good time. St. Peter told the newcomer not to disturb them, because ‘they are Catholics and they think that they are the only ones here.”” Mrs. Coffin still finds the story quite amusing.

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