Parish profile – Christ the King, Browerville

Categories: Around the Diocese


Christ the King Parish, Browerville

St. Joseph Parish was founded in 1906. Built by Polish immigrants, it has a 70-foot-tall tower, topped with a drum surrounded by eight columns, with an onion dome and cross on the top. The Polish church of St. Joseph and the German church of St. Peter, both in Browerville, became Christ the King Parish in 1978 when the two parishes were combined. Christ the King now has 418 families with 875 registered parishioners.

Q: What is the most interesting facet of your church building?

A: The onion dome steeple and a Black Madonna in the interior.

Q: What is the main ministry at your parish?

A: Christ the King School is the main parish ministry. It was rebuilt in 1926 after the first school burned down. Children from kindergarten through grade six attend the school. There is also a prekindergarten program.


Christ the King Parish, Browerville interior

One of Christ the King’s traditions is the baking of about 1,100 coffee cakes every year in November. Both women and men get together and bake poppy seed, apple, prune, apricot and cheese coffeecakes — all in one day. They are then all sold the next day at the annual Holiday Fair with proceeds donated to various organizations in the parish and community. The event began close to 50 years ago, and for the last 25 years it has never missed a year.


Christ the King Catholic School, Browerville

Q: What is an interesting historical fact about your parish?

A: There is an inscription on the front of Christ the King School that goes back to its Polish roots. It reads “School of St. Joseph.” The church grounds have a Gethsemane rock grotto designed by award-winning sculptor Joseph Kiselewski. The church building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1985.


Father Matthew Crane

Meet the pastor

Father Matthew Crane grew up in Elk River. He was ordained a priest June 4, 2011, having been ordained a transitional deacon June 5, 2010. In the brief time he has been a priest, he has served clusters of parishes as a parochial vicar for two years at the parishes of St. Anthony, Holy Spirit and St. John Cantius in St. Cloud. Then he was pastor for one year of four parishes northwest of Alexandria: St. Ann in Brandon, Seven Dolors in Millerville, Sacred Heart in Urbank and St. William in Parkers Prairie. He became pastor of Christ the King in Browerville in July 2014, along with St. Joseph in Clarissa and St. Joseph in Bertha.

Q: What inspired you to become a priest?

A: I wanted to become a priest because priests bring the sacraments — and sacraments keenly and decisively cut through the confusion of the chaos of life bringing clarity and peace.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your daily life as a priest?

A: Conferring, ministering, witnessing and being instrumental in bringing about the sacraments. But if I had to pick a close second, I would say I enjoy teaching very much — though I have little time for that with three parishes.

Q: What was the theme of a favorite homily that you preached?

A: Homilies do provide a regular, enjoyable opportunity to teach. Among my favorites was one I preached while a transitional deacon studying at St. Paul Seminary. Pointing to St. Stephen’s life as it is related by the Acts of the Apostles, I mentioned on the one hand the vindication I (and I presume other seminarians) felt learning that the dramatic, edgy, in-your-face approach is a legitimate form of pastoral ministry. However, I noted that on the other hand, to use that approach with any efficacy, it seems we must be holy as St. Stephen is holy.