Parish Profile – St. Hubert Parish, Blue Grass

Categories: Around the Diocese


St. Hubert Parish, Blue Grass

The parish of St. Hubert was founded in 1908. It currently has 110 households with 278 members.

The following questions were answered by Vera Malone.

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

A: Our church has a beautiful wood altar. The Gothic style altar has detailed wood carving similar to that featured in European churches. The altar was purchased from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Long Prairie when they were renovating their church in the early 1900s. There is one large inset above the tabernacle which holds a statue of our patron, St. Hubert. Two smaller insets hold statues of St. Aloysius and St. Anthony.

After Vatican II when priests began facing the people while celebrating Mass, the ornate altar stayed in its original place. One of the side altars became the sacrificial altar. For our 100th jubilee as a parish in 2008, a former parishioner, Dieter Meister, now an artisan in Chicago, replaced all the gold and silver painting with gold and silver leaf.


St. Hubert Parish, interior

Q: What is the most popular ministry at your parish?

A: We have four that are very popular, needed and well received: farm blessings, care packages for our diocesan seminarians, prayer blankets and the parish nurse ministry.

Farm blessings are done around the feast of St. Isidore each May when parishioners take our pastor around to the homes and farms of those who have signed up.

In November we pack goodies in care packages for each of our diocesan seminarians. They receive these before their finals.

Prayer blankets are patiently made by a group of ladies who pray for the recipients as they construct the blankets. The blankets are given to the newly baptized, parishioners who are ill or going through a time of trial and to our high school graduates.

Probably, the most popular, though, is the parish nurse ministry. For a small parish, we are blessed with eight RNs and one LPN. This ministry was started in 2009, and our parish nurse, Lela Platt, is assisted by a St. Hubert Health Care Board. Programs have been presented on depression and dementia, women’s heart health and end of life issues and questions. A future program will be done on Alzheimer’s and care for the caregiver. Blood pressures are taken after Mass the third weekend of each month. Lela writes an article in the bulletin once a month.

Weekly, two people visit the home-bound and shut-in parishioners for wellness checks and to give them Communion. Prayer blankets are delivered. With the help of Tri-County Health Care in Wadena, an AED was purchased and installed in the church. There is an annual CPR and AED training done in the parish. Care Notes for children, teens and adults are made available in the church. There is a display at the Annual Parish Harvest Festival where blood pressures are taken for anyone who desires it.

Q: What is an interesting anecdote about your parish?

A: Our church ground is home to a prayerful grotto which is a replica of the Massabielle Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Recently new statues of Our Lady and St. Bernadette were purchased and added to the grotto as Mary’s statue was beyond repair from over 80 years of exposure to the weather.

In 1930-31, with the labor of the parishioners and the pastor, the grotto was erected and is possibly the largest in the diocese. As parishioners donated the rocks for the project, then-pastor Father John Van Den Boer, a Crosier priest, decided which rocks could be on the exterior of the grotto. Any “bad ones” that were not unusual or decorative would go inside the 35-foot-long, 19-foot-wide and 14-foot-high structure.



Father Arlie Sowada


Meet the Pastor
Father Arlie Sowada grew up in Opole, and was ordained in 1973. He served in parishes in the following communites: St. Cloud, Herman-Donnelly, Browns Valley, Grey Eagle-Swanville, Dent-Rush Lake and Elbow Lake-Tintah. He has served parishioners in Verndale, Bluegrass and Menahga for the last four years.

Q: What inspired you to become a priest?

A: I was inspired by the attitude and prayerfulness of Father Vincent Wotzka, who served in Opole from 1952-60 during my late elementary and high school years. Father Wotzka taught me how religion should be lived every day, not just memorized. I also remember him telling the class that after reading the questions and answers in their Baltimore Catechism, we should always read the “application” at the bottom of the page to understand how to apply the lessons to daily living. He also emphasized that we should always study the lives of the saints, and I continue to do this and share their stories with the people in my parishes.

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

A: I most enjoy the Liturgy of the Hours.

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

A: I have three: Strive to become as well as possible; Unite your sufferings to Christ; and Be willing to be an example for others.