PRESERVATION – SUMMER 2008 ERIN TOWNSHIP NEWSLETTER
We would like to express our sincere thanks to Father David LaPlante for
his wonderful St. Patrick’s Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Chapel on Monday,
March 17, 2008. Over 100 people celebrated this special feast day. After
Mass those in attendance were treated to Father’s wonderful cookies,
which quickly disappeared to hopefully ensure a Mass again next year.
Following Mass, we put the finishing touches on our float for the annual
St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Special thanks to Jeff Kraft of the Erin Inn
for providing the beautiful attire for our St. Patrick-- the famous John
Kaczor—thanks, John, for once again braving the elements and giving
everyone along the parade route a reason to cheer. We are also grateful
once again to Kay and Gary Ebert for the use of their trusty, green
pick-up and to Angela Scaffidi, Kayleigh Dlapa, Cody Hetzel, Allie
Vanden Heuvel and Amanda Wiebelhaus who did a fabulous job with the
At the May 13, 2008, St. Patrick Preservation Meeting, elections were
held for the coming year. Officers are as follows: President and
Secretary – Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel, Vice President – Robert
Schwengel and Co-Treasurers – Margaret Van Beckum and Joan Coffey. In
addition, Peggy Kenealy was elected to serve on the Board of Directors.
Now that warmer weather has arrived, the St. Patrick Preservation Group
will begin their cemetery project. By summer’s end we hope to have all
gravestones photographed, logged and ready to be added to our website at
On Wednesday, May 14, 2008, the St. Patrick's Altar Society celebrated
150 years of existence with a party at the Hartford Golf Club at 6:30
p.m. All were welcome--whether former or current Altar Society members,
spouses, former parishioners or just those who wanted to reminisce. The
turnout was phenomenal with 49 people in attendance including Father
David LaPlante, pastor of our merged parishes of St. Kilian and St.
Patrick, Sister Eileen, former pastors of St. Patrick’s Father John
Rausch and Father Wally Vogel and dear friend of our St. Patrick
Preservation Group, Father Robert McDermott.
One of the highlights of the evening was Father David’s surprise raffle
to eight lucky attendees—beautiful framed pictures (that Father took
himself) of the historic interior of St. Patrick’s. Former pastors
Rausch and Vogel spoke of their love for the good people of St.
Patrick’s and the wonderful memories they had serving in Erin Township.
Dessert was a beautiful three-tier 150th Anniversary cake baked and
decorated by President Joan Coffey,
Rev. John Stephen Muenich established the St. Patrick's Altar Society on
June 1, 1858. The society was formed for married and unmarried women of
the church to care for the Altar. They were responsible for laundering
and ironing Altar cloths and the priests' and altar servers' attire. As
the society grew they took on more responsibility, including the
cleaning of the church until 1986 when a cleaning service was hired. The
group also sent cards to new parents, those who were sick or had lost a
loved one. Fundraisers were held to purchase flowers, hosts, Easter
Palms, vestments, gifts for CCD teachers and even a new Altar in 1968.
The most successful fundraiser was a cookbook published in 1955 and
reprinted in 2005 for the 150th celebration of the founding of St.
Patrick Church. Some of the women who worked on the cookbook of 1955 are
still members today. Meetings took place the second Wednesday of the
month and continue to this very day.
Even though the group's original purpose ceases to exist, spirituality
and friendship still remains the common thread at the heart of the
Society's longevity. The Society helps support the Hartford Food Pantry
and the Pregnancy Help Center through donations and also has memorial
Masses said for deceased parishioners. If you would like to be a part of
the camaraderie and spirituality, please call President Joan Coffey at
Have a birthday, anniversary or special occasion and in need of a unique
gift? The 150th Anniversary History Book of St. Patrick’s Church will
bring hours of enjoyment especially for your favorite Irish relative. If
you haven’t already done so, please think about purchasing a
copy—suggested donation of $30 or $35 if shipping is requested. The
187-page book packed with memorable information, very interesting facts
and over 250 pictures. To get your copy, please contact Nancy Henke at
262/673-5219 or E-mail Mary Hasslinger at email@example.com.
For continued updates, please visit our web site at
www.savestpatrick.com (check out the latest pictures) or join us the
second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Erin Town Hall. Coffee,
dessert and catching up with family, friends and neighbors follow the
meeting. If you would like to become a member of the St. Patrick
Preservation Fund, Inc. (reasonably priced at $5/Single and $10/Family),
please contact Maureen Fitzsimmons-Vanden Heuvel at 262/670-0975 or
E-mail her at SaveStPats@aol.com. We again thank you for your ongoing
support during the past nine years, as we continue our goal to preserve
St. Patrick’s Chapel--an important part of the history of the Town of