By Mary Lou Egan
The event was called “Homecoming” although there were no parades, floats, football games or royalty. On Oct. 8, the century-old parish of Holy Rosary in Globeville invited everyone who had any connection to the church to a celebration.
We began with Mass, of course. Joann Birsa sang “Kraljica venca rožnega” in Slovenian and the congregation followed with the same hymn “O Queen of the Holy Rosary” in English.
In his homily, the pastor Father Frank Garcia paid tribute to the faith and perseverance of the Slovenian and Croatian founders, including those Slovenian communities in Leadville and Pueblo who raised money for the fledgling parish.
Father commended the many pastors, teachers and the current Spanish parishioners who sustain the parish. The Mass concluded with the singing in Latin of “Tantum Ergo” and the English hymn “Holy God We Praise Thy Name.”
We then gathered in the school cafeteria for coffee, potica, sandwiches and sharing photos and memories. Attendees marveled at the photos of each of the 40 graduating classes from Holy Rosary Grade School, from 1929 to 1969.
People brought photos of their parents and grandparents to share (and hope someone could identify others in the photograph). There were pictures of altar servers, choirs, class plays, classrooms, posadas and processions. It wasn’t all hymns and holiness. There were tales of church founders arrested for bootlegging, and a of Christmas pageant with the baby Jesus going airborne.
Rudy Okoren recalled the Mass being said in Latin, with a sermon in Slovenian and a sermon in English. He smiled when confessing to skipping out on the second homily to steal a smoke. The terror of receiving your report card or not completing your homework caused a chuckle.
There were reminiscences of Sister Mary Magdalene, who taught piano and accordion and took children to concerts of classical music at Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
If you have any connection to Holy Rosary (your grandparents were married or went to school there, you took part in an activity or attended religious education or pancake breakfasts), you’ll want to join us for our next event. We’ll do it again on March 25.
For more information, contact Mary Lou Egan at firstname.lastname@example.org. View those entertaining stories on our YouTube Channel at youtu.be/GAMeDnK2kZc.
Mary Lou Egan is a fourth-generation Coloradan who loves history. You can reach her at email@example.com.