Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Litomysl is looking forward once again to seeing their church grounds swell with people during their 47th annual Summer Festival this Sunday, July 29th.  Our KDHL AM Minnesota show will be on the grounds Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to get more details.  Holy Trinity has 150 families and the small church south of Owatonna has one of the largest parish festivals in the state.  The country style event draws people from all over.  Not just the area but also families and friends from the Twin Cities area have been known to enjoy the event.

Litomysl is Czech for "wistful thoughts."  Folks can get pretty wistful when thinking to the early days of Litomysl.  The church has been there since 1878 when settlers built their first church.  The community is named after the community of Litomysl , 100 miles east of Prague, Czech Republic.  I've been to Prague and it is one of the most beautiful cities I've seen.

In 1940-41 parishioners built the stone church that stands today out of the rocks from the fields in the area.  It's one of the largest stone churches in the nation; church members brought over 600 loads of rock to build it.

The church festival is filled with Czech traditions, like fruit filled pastries and polka music.  I attended the polka mass a few years ago and became hooked.  I can envision God enjoying the celebratory nature of the music because it sounds like worship music.  It all begins at 10:00 a.m. in the air conditioned sanctuary which is also handicapped accessible.

Music is a staple of this event outside the church also.  Before the mass the Owatonna Knights of Columbus Choir performs in the Holy Trinity Church.  Hans Hohrman plays his accordion near the school building.  The "Dan Stursa Band" and "Czech Lites" from New Prague will also entertain the crowd on the stage north of the church.  The Klecker Band has played every festival and will be inside the church in the afternoon.

By 11:00 a.m. all the outdoor fun begins.  Many food booths are there with a great variety of foods to choose from.  Pork rib sandwiches, pork burgers, brats, hot dogs, walking tacos, root beer floats and lots of drinks to quench people's thirst.

In the church basement I typically partake in the delicious shaved ham and turkey sandwich meal with potato salad, baked beans and a beverage served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Pie and filled biscuits are also on the menu.

There is a Silent Auction inside the school building and a Used-A-Bit Sale.  A country store with garden produce will be by the church.  There are games for kids of all ages including plinko, bingo, spin the wheel, fish pond, dime toss and the ever-popular root beer barrel game.

The ladies of the parish make scores and scores of prune, poppyseed and apricot biscuits called "buchty" in Czech.  They go on sale at 11:00 a.m. and always sell out.  Rides are provided for those with mobility issues to and from their vehicles.

More details and directions to the church can be found at www.litomysl.webs.com.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church Litomysl. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld