Friday, July 21, 2006

Our Lady of Victory in Fergus Falls Celebrates its 125th Anniversary

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In the summer of 1881 Catholics in Fergus Falls, served at frequent intervals by missionaries passing through town, formed a congregation called The Church of the Holy Family, a forerunner to Our Lady of Victory Church. Members patiently awaited the arrival of the first Pastor, the Rev. Joseph Moder, who came to Fergus Falls in October 1881.

Even before the arrival of the first Pastor, the newly formed church was recording baptisms and other events. Missionaries baptized four infants on Sept. 30, 1881, the start of 125 years of Catholic baptisms for the official church in Fergus Falls. It took nine years, however, before the first parish church was completed. Finally, a dedication took place at the new church on Sept. 10, 1890. It’s believed the church was located up the hill to the north of where the current church stands. That same year, in 1890, the name of the church was changed to St. Otto’s Catholic Church. This fact solves a puzzle for many people who today wonder why the name of the cemetery (St. Otto’s) is different from the name Our Lady of Victory. The church tower in 1891 bore the inscription, “In Honorem St. Ottonis.”

The new Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, at the northwest corner of Vine and Cavour, was dedicated on April 10, 1914. Parishioners previously approved the name change from St. Otto’s to OLV, with the name used these past 92 years [snip]
Daily Journal
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