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[Page 20]  St. Joseph's Golden Jubilee - Calumet

Fire Old St. Joseph Church Calumet


[Page 22]  St. Joseph's Golden Jubilee - Calumet

Vertin worked diligently together in getting a well known architect to submit plans for the new building. There were 350 families and approximately 400 single men, all being 100% Catholic, belonging to the parish. The work went on smoothly.

At the parish meeting in April of the same year the Building Committee disclosed a number of plans. None was suitable until the plans of the present church were presented. The bishop and the Treasurer were against the peoples' choice because of the tremendous cost. Without any work on the interior the edifice would cost $46,600. A great deal of discussion went on among and with the parishioners demanding the church of their choice. At this meeting it was also decided that each family should contribute eighty-five dollars ($85.00) and single men fifty dollars ($50.00). This amount was willingly given by all.

Actual work on the building of the new church began on June 18, 1903. The cornerstone, (being laid Aug. 18th of the same year,) bearing this inscription, "Let this church be a monument of our Spiritual Endeavor; and let our posterity view it as an emblem symbolizing the 'Freedom Of Worship.'"

[Page 23]  St. Joseph's Golden Jubilee - Calumet

Interior of New Church


work was to raise sufficient funds to purchase the main altar. Not even Nürenburg, that carver of exquisite altars, worked more diligently and untiringly than the girls of St. Joseph's Church. Concerts, plays and various entertainments were put on to raise their quota.

The young men of the church too formed a society called The St. Aloysius Society for the purpose of raising funds with which to purchase an organ. Their meeting not only served its purpose but seeds were sown from which the Benevolent Society was organized to promote the welfare of their working brothers. It aptly was said that when a dozen Slovenes met they either discussed organizing a lodge or building a church. Thus the fund for the organ grew until by giving dances, picnics and plays they raised in five years, four thousand dollars which the pipe organ cost.

Due to ill health the Rev. Mark Pakiz resigned as Pastor of this church to enter a hospital for medical attention. As his recovery was slow, he asked the bishop to transfer him to a smaller parish, where his duties would not tax his strength too greatly. The Franciscan Fathers attended to the spiritual needs of the people from January until April, 1904, at which time the Reverend Luke Klopcic was ordained and immediately sent to the

[Page 24]  St. Joseph's Golden Jubilee - Calumet

St. Joseph's parish. Being only twenty-four years old his enthusiasm and zeal was indeed a great inspiration to the people. He found plenty of work awaiting him as the church was only one third completed thus far. The basement was made ready for services which were held for the first time just before Lent in 1904.

The bells for the new church were blessed May 28th 1905.

The decorating of the interior of the church progressed very slowly. Hand work, as you know, takes a tremendous toll in time and money. It took three years to do the beautiful paintings which adorn the nave and chancel of the church.

The next worry to the parishioners was how to obtain a skilled organist as time was drawing near to the church's completion.

A graduate of the Academy of Music at Celja, Slovenia, came young Frank Rady. Skilled in playing the piano, accordion, violin and exceptionally talented in playing the pipe organ. Under his direction the best church choir in the Copper Country was developed.

Rev. Father Klopcic

Born in Slovenia

Pastor of St. Joseph's Church

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