Because of Three Catholic Families

Holy Trinity Parish  

The founding of Holy Trinity Parish dates back to 1867 when three Catholic families, Kallmeyer, Boese, and Pohl of the Coldwater area sought permission for the construction of a wood frame church; hence the name "Holy Trinity." Completed in the fall of 1868, the original 30 x 60 foot structure stood at the site of our present church. Father Rengele, who was serving as pastor of St. Mary church, Philothea, accepted the additional duties of becoming the first pastor of Holy Trinity. 

As a result of the growing timber industry and the arrival of the railroads, the parish quickly grew to more than 80 families by 1886. To handle the increased size of the parish an addition was added to the north side of the church. Ten years later, when the parish numbered more than 100 families, it was decided to build a new church. The original structure was moved 100 feet to the east and construction began on the present church building. The cornerstone was laid in the spring of 1898, and the church was dedicated on October 9, 1899. The 54 x 145 foot gothic design structure incorporating large interior drop columns included two spires, one standing 85 feet and the other 145 feet tall. 

Through donations and volunteer efforts of the parishioners, additions and renovations have continued over the years. In 1902 land was purchased east of Coldwater for St. Elizabeth Cemetery. The church received steam heat in 1903, and in 1905 Stations of the Cross were added and a rectory constructed. 1907 saw the addition of our exquisite stain glass windows and in 1913 the parish built a two story, eight room parochial school and a convent for the Sisters teaching in the school. Electric lights were introduced in church in 1917, a new pipe organ in 1918 and a loud speaker system in 1939. During 1968 and 1969 additions to the east and west sides of the church were added; restoration and redecorating of the church took place in 1995, and as of 1997, parishioners are experiencing air conditioning.

World War I, waged from 1914 to 1918, saw 87 young men from the parish serve in the Army and Navy, seven of whom sacrificed their lives for their Country. After the War the community of Coldwater attempted to return to "normalcy," but in addition to the Great Depression, World War II left its mark on the town. Again, seven young men did not return from the battlefields. After the War ended the community looked with hope to the future.

Father Louis Yauss, pastor from 1915 to 1957, was instrumental in many areas of growth for Holy Trinity. He aided in bringing the parish through many changes and hard times. In 1992 the former parochial school building was rededicated in memory of his work, as the Fr. Yauss Center. This facility today serves as the hub of our parish Religious Education program. In addition to CCD instruction, it also used for parish offices, council and commission meetings and reference library.

Within the missions of the church comes change. One of the memorable changes came in 1964 when parishioners at Holy Trinity, as well as Catholics around the nation, began the celebration of the liturgy in English. Other significant changes included a new altar facing the people and in 1969 the introduction of the "Handshake of Peace." This was soon followed by members of the congregation carrying the offertory gifts to the altar and serving as Eucharistic ministers.

The Parish has grown in size as well as faith. During the first 100 years of its existence, it had grown to 100 families. At this point in time our parish includes 1700 families and continues to grow. The faith and actions of its members denote a vibrant parish...and by those standards Holy Trinity Parish is alive and well!

(by: Eugene Weber, 1997)