Today, while visiting parishioner Mrs. Rose Koch, the Priest of Salem was delighted to see a group photograph of parishioners taken in front of the church he had not had the pleasure of seeing before! Unfortunately, Rose did not know the date of the photograph!
In the old days, every decade or so, especially after a major celebration, the parishioners were known to stand for a group photo in front of the church. There are five or six of these group photographs still extant and in the possession of parishioners. The above one is unique in that the motto (“To Restore All Things in Christ”) and portrait of Pope St. Pius X are above the arches in front of the church. Since the parish was already in possession of a portrait of the Holy Father, it could not have been following a Mass offered in thanksgiving for his election to the See of St. Peter in 1903. While the flags outside of the church could have been black and white, the atmosphere seems too festive to have been taken following his Requiem in August of 1914. This theory is further backed up by the fact that many of the young women and girls are in white dresses. Therefore, the Priest of Salem guesses that is was following a celebration of the Holy Father’s Sacerdotal Jubilee.
One item of interest to Rose and her family is the presence of Rose’s Mother, Helena “Lena” Barbara Leitheiser Feterl, in the photograph. She can be found on the right side of the photo, and is the last lady dressed in white, with a hat and holding an unidentified child. Any information on the date of the photograph, the name of the child and the celebration which prompted the parish group photo would be of great interest to Rose, her family, and to the Priest of Salem.