Last Mass at St. Boniface

"Last Mass at St. Boniface." Napoleon Homestead, 27 December 2006, 1.

St. Boniface Catholic Church, rural Kintyre, will have the last Mass on Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 8:00 a.m.

St. Boniface Catholic Church, rural Kintyre will host its last Mass on Sunday, Dec. 31. The church on the prairie, southwest of Napoleon, with its beautiful altars and Stations of the Cross, will no longer be used. Rev. Fr. Donald Leiphon will be the presiding pastor at the 8:00 a.m. Mass and he will be assisted by Deacon Gary Schumacher. Special music of German
and Latin songs by Margaret Wald and Tony Wangler will be part of the mass. Following the Mass a group of candelabras will be donated to the St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Napoleon while the three main altars, a baptismal font and Stations of the Cross will be donated to St. Katherine's Catholic Church, Braddock.

According to Fr. Leiphon there are no definite plans for the church or the parsonage on the church grounds and that both are still for sale. Knowing its days were numbered, the St. Boniface Church parishioners celebrated it's 100th anniversary in June 5 of 2005 with Bishop Samuel Aquilla along with a host of former priests and other religious brothers and sisters on hand for this event.

According to the St. Boniface Church History book, the church was started on February 19, 1905 as a mission of St. Mary's Church of Bismarck. Priests traveled by train from Bismarck to Napoleon and then by a team of horses once a month. At it's origin the mission church numbered 60. In 1908, St. Boniface became a mission to St. Philip Neri in Napoleon with 20 families being part of the congregation.

Around 1912 a Catholic school was started which taught 45 children. A house was also built for the school teacher.

It was in 1916 that the current church was built at a cost of $5,000. The original church became a school house known as Weigel #2.

In 1918, St. Boniface became a mission to another area Catholic Church - St. Anthony's, which was located south of St. Boniface.

The first resident priest to serve St. Boniface was Rev. Alexander Stang who came Feb. 24, 1924 and a rectory was built. As St. Boniface had maintained a strong parish St. Clare's of Burnstad, which is now closed and St. Patrick's of Wishek became missions of St. Boniface during the years 1936-1940. It was in 1953 that Rev. John Bacevicious was named assistant and after Rev. Widmann's retirement was named Pastor of St. Boniface. St. Patrick's was a
mission church from 1959-1990. Fr. John served the parish until January 1, 2000 and died March 15, 2000.

Since 2000 Rev. James Korah, Rev. Kevin Willis, Rev. David Syverson and Rev. Donald Leiphon have served the church.

A complete history of the St. Boniface Catholic Church can be found in the St. Boniface Catholic Church, Kintyre, ND, book, 1905-2005.

Reprinted with permission of the Napoleon Homestead.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller