Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Archbishop hails half-century mark at St. Rita Catholic Church in Cottage Grove

Bernard Hebda, archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, prays with Deacon Steve Koop (left) and Rev. Rick Banker at the April 17 dedication of a new wing at St. Rita Catholic Church in Cottage Grove. The ceremony was part of a 50th anniversary celebration that included a special mass and a reception. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)1 / 9
St. Rita Catholic Church launched its 50th year jubilee Sunday with an anniversary mass that was concelebrated Bernard Hebda, archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Following the mass, Hebda took part in the dedication of a new $2.2 million wing, along with the Rev. Rick Banker (right). (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)2 / 9
Archbishop Bernard Hebda meets Natalie Juenemann, 6, during a 50th anniversary celebration at St. Rita Catholic Church in Cottage Grove. Natalie is the daughter of parishioner Mark Juenemann. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)3 / 9
Archbishop Bernard Hebda poses for a photo with Humphrey Muntong during a 50th anniversary celebration at St. Rita Catholic Church in Cottage Grove. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)4 / 9
Parishioners gather for the dedication of the new Faith Formation Center at the 50th anniversary celebration of St. Rita Catholic Church in Cottage Grove.5 / 9
Archbishop Bernard Hebda addresses the congregation during the 50th anniversary mass at St. Rita Catholic Church in Cottage Grove, with Deacon Jack Nicklay (left) and the Rev. Rick Banker. 6 / 9
The Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald, former pastor of St. Rita Catholic Church, returned for their 50th anniversary celebration mass April 17. 7 / 9
8 / 9
9 / 9

The pews were packed Sunday as St. Rita Catholic Church in Cottage Grove launched its 50th year jubilee.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis joined the Rev. Rick Banker in a special anniversary mass. Several former pastors returned to St. Rita for the half-century bash, including the Rev. John Brandes, who led St. Rita when it was founded in August 1966.

Former pastor Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald also returned for the occasion, as did many former parishioners who had moved out of state.

Hebda greeted attendees on a receiving line at a catered post-mass reception.

The anniversary coincided with the church’s opening of their $2.2 million Faith Formation Center, which includes more than a dozen classrooms and a nursery.

randomness