New gravestones of sixty-four pioneer priests to be blessed Memorial Day at two Catholic cemeteries in MN
64 new markers to be blessed at Memorial Day Massescontinue at The Catholic Spirit
Phil Jungwirth has been visiting his uncle’s grave in Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul regularly throughout his life.
Father Charles Jungwirth died of influenza in 1918 while serving as an assistant pastor in Sleepy Eye, Minn. And growing up in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul, it was a Jungwirth family tradition to visit his grave on special occasions.
Buried in the pioneer priest section of the cemetery, his grave should be easy to locate. But over the years his marker and the markers of other priests who served the archdiocese in its earliest years have deteriorated so much that the names and inscriptions are unreadable.
“You just couldn’t read the names anymore,” Phil Jungwirth said.
The markers — dating back to the first priest to die in 1855 in what was then the Diocese of St. Paul — were made of limestone and sandstone, both of which are not as durable as the granite that is used today.
These priests — mostly born in Europe and Canada — ministered to the early immigrants coming to Minnesota, Jungwirth said.
details at Arch Minn St Paul