St. Frederick – Verndale

After the northern Pacific Railroad completed its tracks from Brainerd to Moorhead in the early 1870s, Fathers Joseph Buh and Ignatius Tomazin offered mass in the private homes along the route. Beginning in 1895, Fr. Frederick Zumbusch of Staples regularly visited Verndale and ministered to the needs of the few Catholics in the area. In these early years Mass was offered in homes. In 1903 the Catholics in the Verndale area were served by priests from Staples, Bluffton and Wadena. In 1907 Fr. Frederick Wiechman pastor of Bluffton encouraged the people to have their own church in order to have religious services more regularly. On August 21, 1910 the parish was incorporated with Fr. Wiechman as pastor.


St. Hubert - Blue Grass

This rural parish in the center of Wadena County had its beginnings with the arrival of three brothers by the name of Kern from Mankato in 1879. Other settlers soon followed. By 1907 there were about thirty families in the area and they felt the need of their own parish because of the condition of the trails to Verndale and Wadena, especially during the winter and spring seasons. They further felt that the children would receive regular religion instruction closer to their homes. The occasional visits of Father Hubert Gunderman from Verndale were not sufficient for their needs. The families gathered to discuss the feasibility of establishing their own parish. Bishop James Trobec granted permission and the parish was incorporated on January 24, 1908 with Fr. Hubert Gunderman as pastor. The parish was named to honor the founding pastor and to recognize the patron saint of hunters, because of the numerous game found in the area.


Assumption of Our Lady – Menahga

This parish was first mentioned in a letter the Bishop Bartholome addressed to Monsignor Edward Mahowald, pastor of St. Ann’s parish in Wadena on August 2, 1953. The Bishop instructed the pastor to begin a mission in Menahga because of the growing number of Catholic families who moved into that area and requested services of a priest. This most northern parish in the diocese was incorporated on August 28, 1953.



Catholic Faith Communities of Verndale,

Blue Grass & Menahga