|Buried At: Sturgis, SD
Father Bregenzer arrived in Sturgis, SD, on January 14, 1903 from Conception Abbey, Conception, MO. Bishop Stariha of Lead had requested a temporary priest to serve as pastor of St. Aloysius Parish and chaplain to the sisters at St. Martin’s Convent. This temporary assignment lasted until his death in 1946. Forty-three years of service to the community of Sturgis, the diocese of Rapid City and St. Martin’s Academy, established Father Columban Bregenzer as a true builder of South Dakota heritage. <p>Father Columban also traveled to surrounding settlements to minister to the Catholic population of Bear Butte, Ft. Meade, Hereford, Volunteer, Nine Mile and Whitewood. He was appointed Vicar General of the diocese of Rapid City in 1922, by Bishop John J. Lawler, and served in this capacity until his death. In 1911, he was instrumental in building St. Martin’s Chapel, which served as the parish church and sister’s chapel for nearly 40 years. <p>Father Columban was a leader in the little frontier community and saw it grow into a thriving business center. He served on the Board of Education, participated in civic activities and was a popular speaker at public meetings. <p>Father Columban's greatest contribution was to the youth of the community of Sturgis. He had a great love of sports, attended all the athletic events and organized a baseball team for “his boys.” His theory was that if boys were busy playing ball, they wouldn’t have time to get into trouble. All the students felt his guidance at St. Martin’s Academy. He personally inspected each report card before they were distributed to the students. He paid little attention to the grades beyond “Conduct, Application and Religion.” Father Columban Bregenzer believed that if the children behaved themselves, studied and loved God they would turn out all right.
|Home Town (Wehringer, Germany)|