Patrons of St. Michael's Parish

“Angels Among Us – Spirit Award”

This is an honorary society for the recognition of lay members of St. Michael’s Parish who have given a lifetime of stewardship for the betterment of the parish. In remembering them for their service to us as a valued part of our parish history; we honor them with the “Angels Among Us – Spirit Award”.

Patrons of St. Michael's Class of 2010

  • Jerry O'Connor: Former Board of Education Member, Religious Education Teacher, Head Lector (involved with scheduling and training), Master of Ceremonies at numerous events.  This has been Jerry’s most visible roll, he has been the most sought after MC by all of the different organizations here at St. Michael’s. For good reason his humor and presentation skills kept audiences wanting for more.

  • Amelia Gerszewski : Member since 1955. Alter Society member, Organized & ran the Kitchen, Cooking for everything all major banquets (Foundation, Bridge Builders Banquets, Men's Club Appreciation Dinners, etc, Including the Christmas Eve Dinner. All the wedding receptions.)  There was not a meal here in the church that she was not running the kitchen for. She was one of the initial starters of the Community Christmas Eve Dinner at St. Michael's and started the Christmas Box program.

  • Sharon Litchy:  St. Michael's School principle for 26 years. She was involved in all aspects of the education of the students of St. Michael's and was the driving force behind the school. During those 26 years St. Michaels held the highest State accreditation possible,  students maintained high academic standards with higher grades performing 1-2 years ahead of actual grade levels.  Started all day kindergarten, added Spanish to the curriculum.  Enjoyed highly professional and faithful teachers and support staff.  Taught the faith daily and the children learned the churches history as well as providing many opportunities to practice their faith.  Added Band to the curriculum. Started and Continued high quality technology training for staff and regular instruction and classroom curriculum enrichment with computers.  Addressed all students needs and worked hard to provide success for all students at all levels. Sharon always was very proud of the work and commitment by all who worked and learned at St. Michaels School.  It was a happy and wonderful  place for children and their families that helped keep them close to their faith throughout their lives.

  • Mary Mannes: She was a member and president of the St. Michael's Alter Society. She organized, recruited people  and directed the weekly church cleaning & rectory for years and she continues to help whenever she can. She was very active with St. Anne’s Guest Home and headed Girls Scouts at St. Michael's Troop 65.

Deceased People from the St. Michael's History -- "Angels Among Us - Spirit Award"

  •  Capt. Alexander Griggs - Donated the land for the first building to be built as a church (St. Mikes #2) Capt was not catholic but his wife was. (1838 – 1903) was an Steamboat captain. He is acknowledged as the founder of the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota and is called "The Father of Grand Forks." He first traveled to the confluence of the Red River of the North and the Red Lake River (the site of present-day Grand Forks) in 1870 using Flatboats to carry cargo downstream on the Red River of the North.  During the fall of 1870, Griggs and his crew embarked on another such trip through the confluence area, but were stranded when their boat froze in the icy waters of the Red River one evening. The crew built a small cabin and lived there during the winter of 1870-1871. They soon decided that the area would be a good spot for a new town. Others soon joined Griggs at the site and the community of Grand Forks was formed. Griggs officially platted the town site of Grand Forks in 1875.  Capt. Alexander Griggs, a veteran riverboat man and local community promoter, gave Father L’Hiver (the second resident pastor), a piece of lane at Sixth Street and Demers. Here a frame church, looking much like a machine shed with a free standing bell tower was constructed. (Father L’Hiver planted potatoes in 1879 on what is now DeMers Avenue.) The new church proved to be too small for immigrants were now coming in great numbers, and the railroad had replaced the steamboats. Within five years, the parish was building again- this time on a spot on the  “edge of town” – which even today, a century later, continues to be the site of St. Michael’s parish life – Sixth Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue.

  • Senator Frank Veits and John McKelvey - Donated the lumber for the #2 church  in 1882 (both non Catholic) Their belief was that Grand Forks needed this church be help the city so they donated all the lumber.

  • M. F. Murphy - Donated the bells. St. Michael's Building committee for St. Michael's School (1914).  Mayor of Grand Forks 1910-1914. Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Murphy and family. As was customary in early times the church bells were blessed and given names and assigned certain tasks.

The bells at St. Michael’s are inscribed with there names and purposes:


I praise the true God
I call the people
I convene the clergy


I bewail the dead
I dispel pestilence
I grace the festival


I arouse the slothful
I scatter the winds
I appease the revengeful


I bemoan the burial
I abate the lightening
I announce the Sabbath

  • Miss Orell McGuire (In 1963 Received  from His Holiness Pope Paul IV the Papal Decoration "pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice" (for the Church and for the Holy Father) because of her complete dedication to her church and her parish. This was presented by Bishop Dworschak) Msgr. McMamee's  right hand helper, she help organize all parish events, in charge  of "The Legion of Mary", plus, anyone new to the parish she gave the orientation to the parish and organizations.