Trinity Sunday, June 11, marked the 75th anniversary of the dedication of St. Francis Catholic Church at the Ojibway community in Red Cliff.
In honor of the occasion, Bishop James P. Powers celebrated Mass at the church. Before the 10 a.m. Mass began, there was a smudging of parishioners, which is a traditional Ojibway blessing; a flag ceremony for the Red Cliff Veterans of Foreign Wars; and a blessing of the four directions.
Fr. Kevin Gordon, pastor of St. Francis, which is his home parish, concelebrated, assisted by Deacon Roger Cadotte. Both men are Ojibway.
Although the church is 75 years old, the Catholic Church’s presence in the Ojibway community reaches back to 1880, when the priest requested that two Franciscan nuns from Joliet, Illinois, come to start a school.
The Indian School, including a chapel and living quarters for the sisters, was constructed in 1881, and the Joliet Franciscans celebrated 135 years of service to the diocese in 2015. St. Francis was constructed across from the Indian School in 1942.
Following the anniversary Mass, all were invited to a feast at the Legendary Waters Event Center.