Guardian angels watch over anniversary
Darboy parish grows from 114 members to over 1,000 families
By Joanne Flemming
Holy Angels Parish in Darboy is celebrating its 150th anniversary this week with prayer
and perpetual adoration.
The parish is praying for itself, said Fr. Tom Pomeroy, pastor. "That way we can renew
our parish spiritually as well as have celebrations."
Perpetual adoration began after the 8:30 a.m. children's liturgy on Sept. 29, the feast of the
archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. It will end Sunday, Oct. 8, after the 11 a.m.
thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Bp. Robert Banks. Fr. Pomeroy will concelebrate.
The parish will observe the Feast of Guardian Angels, its patron, this weekend, he said.
Ordinarily it is observed Oct. 2, but was transferred to the weekend because of the
Celine Romenesko, anniversary chairperson and parish historian, was pleased that Holy
Angels parishioners filled all the hours of perpetual adoration and did not have to appeal
to neighboring parishes for help.
In addition to perpetual adoration, the parish scheduled Holy Hours on Oct. 1, 2 and 5.
Speakers for the Holy Hours were Capuchin priests from Monte Alverno Retreat House
and St. Fidelis Friary in Appleton. They spoke on Eucharistic themes. The Capuchins
helped start the first Holy Angels School and have assisted in the parish when extra priests
are needed Romenesko said.
Two Capuchins also concelebrated the Elders Day Mass on Oct. 2 for parish senior
citizens. The Rite of Anointing was also available. A potluck dinner in the school
Parishioners' animals were blessed on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. A chicken
dinner will follow the Oct. 8 Mass with Bp. Banks.
Romenesko said the anniversary included several opportunities to reminiscence about
parish history. Parish pictures and memorabilia were displayed at celebrations, and
parishioners were encouraged to share memories.
There will be a Living History Walk in Holy Angels Cemetery from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday,
Oct. 7. Parishioners will dress in historic costume and tell the stories of their families and
the parts they played in the parish's settlement and growth. The walk was presented on
Wednesday for the religious education classes.
Holy Angels was established on July 24, 1850, when five acres were donated for the
church, said Romenesko. The original settlers were mostly German. Parish records in
1899 showed that the church had 114 member families and 90 children in the school.
Before World War I, the school was known as the "German" school because classes were taught in that language, said the historian.
The first nuns to teach there were the Manitowoc Franciscans, followed by the Bay Settlement Franciscans.
Today Holy Angels has 1,020 families, said Fr. Pomeroy. Twenty-three new families joined in August. He added that 434 new lots just opened within the parish boundaries. "We're doing nothing but growing," he said.
Romenesko and others are updating and revising the parish history published for the 125th anniversary. The new edition, expected to be ready early in 2001, will include family histories. Persons wanting to contribute to the book should contact Romenesko at (920)734-0540 by early December.