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Dayton’s Holy Trinity Parish begins anniversary celebration

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

By David Eck

DAYTON DEANERY — There was plenty to celebrate on Sunday at Holy Trinity Parish in Dayton.

Not only did six children make their first Communion on Trinity Sunday, parishioners began counting down to the 150th anniversary of their parish’s founding in 2011.

From left, Deacon George Zvonar, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk and Father Richard Friebel celebrate Mass. (CT/E.L. Hubbard)

The venerable church at the corner of Bainbridge and East Fifth streets on the edge of downtown was nearly full as attended a kick-off Mass celebrated by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. The archbishop spoke of the teaching the Lord has offered Holy Trinity parishioners for the last century-and-a-half.

“His presence in the Blessed Sacrament has been here all these years, offering the hope and the reassurance that can only come from Him,” the archbishop said. “This morning that special eucharistic relationship is extended to the lives of those who receive their first holy Communion today.”

The archbishop, a Dayton native who knows the area well, mentioned some of Holy Trinity’s early pastors, including founding pastor Father Francis Goetz, who served the parish for 38 years. The late Archbishop Paul J. Liebold, though not a pastor at Holy Trinity, grew up in the parish.

“These priests were — are — all agents of God’s love and concern for His people,” Archbishop Pilarczyk said. “And for them today we also offer our thanks.”

The archbishop also mentioned the former parish school, the men and women religious who have served Holy Trinity, and the laity who have been a part of the parish over the years.

“The neighborhood has changed. The flavor of ministry that goes on here has changed. But the basic reality has remained the same: namely, that God is busy on Bainbridge Street as He was before, that He is as concerned about the Holy Trinity parishioners as He was 150 years ago,” he said.

Missionary of the Precious Blood Father Richard Friebel, pastor of Holy Trinity since 2002, called the anniversary “phenomenal.” Parishioners have had a strong faith for generations, he said.

Haili Frowein takes the cup during her first Communion at Holy Trinity Church. (CT/E.L. Hubbard)

“That to me just shows the conviction of the faith of the people here,” said Father Friebel. “I feel honored to be here at this place and time to celebrate this 150th anniversary.”

Linda Frowien’s daughter, Haili, made her first Communion at the Mass.

“It couldn’t have been any better,” Frowien said. “To have the archbishop here was just an honor. We just love the church. The people are just wonderful. It’s just like family.” 

After the Mass, the parish held its annual Trinity Sunday parish picnic.

It is that active, community feeling that drew Judy Clark to the parish about 35 years ago. She raised her children in Holy Trinity. Her husband’s funeral Mass was there.

“It’s unique because it’s second, third and even fourth generations there,” Clark said. “They are coming because they love it and love the history of it.”

The parish is successful, she said, because it recognizes the needs of its people. Even though the neighborhood around it has changed, it remains an active, social parish community.

“The main thing was my children loved it,” said Clark, now 88. “I think they loved it because it was a stable parish. Even though it was in an older neighborhood it wasn’t a parish that was constantly changing.”

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