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Father Mazzuchelli had deep impact on our state Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

My first pastorate was St. Patrick Parish, Benton. The Venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, a Dominican priest, served there as pastor from 1849 to 1864.

I felt his holy presence as I opened the rectory where he stayed, studied his portrait, visited the park where the St. Clara Girl’s Academy was, and listened to stories about him. I visited his grave where he and early nuns of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation he founded are buried.

I marveled at how St. Augustine Church in New Diggings, maintained by the Knights of Columbus, must be almost as it was when he celebrated Mass there.

Father Mazzuchelli helped build 25 churches, including St. Patrick, Benton; St. Matthew, Shullsburg; St. Thomas, Potosi; St. Francis De Sales, Hazel Green; and St. Rose of the Prairie, Cuba City. He ministered to Indian tribes and in 1836 became chaplain for the first session of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in Belmont.

He translated his deep love of God into love of neighbor. In response, Catholics, Protestants, and others loved him. He was arguably the most respected man in Wisconsin. Many pray that he will be canonized a saint by the Catholic Church.

A Mass honoring Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli will be celebrated at 3 p. m. at St. Patrick Church, Benton, on Sunday, Aug. 28. St. Augustine Church will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. before Mass.

Fr. Don Lange, Hazel Green