Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett

Page 87

mountain parishes, and when he was offered the choice in 1885 of the church at Grand Junction in the western part of the state or of St. Ann’s church in Denver, I advised him to take St. Ann’s. He had worked hard at Georgetown completing the church and building the school, rectory and hospital, and attending the two churches of Georgetown and Silver Plume. He was still in the prime of life, and with health that could be strengthened and conserved for many years with the present strain removed. Grand Junction would never be such in his lifetime, while St. Ann’s had a great future before it. St. Ann’s was then in the very outskirts of Denver, but it was growing in that direction and it afterwards became the great parish of the Annunciation. He took St. Ann’s and I advised him two years later to accept the honor and the burden of the episcopate against strong opposition when they were offered to him. 

          I do not know whether he remembered these things when the question of filling the vacancy in Pueblo came up, but I do know that when I advised him, no thought of future favors entered my mind. St. Ignatius was a fine parish, founded in 1872 by the Jesuits, but from which they had resigned, and for the last two years it had been under the care of Rev. Frederick Hender. A pilgrimage to the Holy Land was to go from America in 1889, and Father Hender wished to go with it, so he resigned and it fell to me to be his successor. I had not looked for a change, nor did I desire it, but I readily accepted it after reporting the conditions of missions and finding that Bishop Matz was willing to provide for them and assume responsibility for some indebtedness that still remained upon the Sterling Church. 

          My arrival in Pueblo was on February 1, 1889. The work of the parish is about the same everywhere, so there is not much to tell. The interior of the church needed renovating, the woodwork needed paint and a debt of twenty-five hundred dollars was crying for liquidation. all this was accomplished within the year, and when the unfinished church of St. Leo, Denver, became vacant and needed a pastor the next year, Bishop Matz, asked me to undertake the task of completing the church and directing the activities of the parish.   

          The work at St. Leo’s was a little more strenuous. The new church was under roof, but only the basement was available for services. Two Dominican Fathers were there to begin a mission the next day, which was Sunday, so that my arrival was amid complications. There was no house, but a few rooms over the sacristy were put in order for sleeping purposes, and I secured, with the help of Father Kooh, a good boarding place with a private family, as there was no restaurant within convenient distance. Though hastily arranged, everything was satisfactory and the mission was a success. The people responded loyally and I must give them the credit of a hearty allegiance to their duty during the whole of my pastorate, which was only two years.


          My first care was to complete the church. For this purpose a load was necessary and this was negotiated. All was in readiness for the dedication; the auditorium was plastered and fresooed [frescoed], all woodwork completed, the pews in place, and only the permanent altars lacking/ My old friend the Rev. Ryan of Davenport came upon my invitation  

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