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      In January 1924, with a heavy heart, for he did not wish to leave New Germany, and suffering from a bad cold, he exchanged parishes with Fr. Wey of St. Clements. The cold developed into pneumonia and on January 30, 1924 he passed away. Of his passing the Kitchener Record of February 6, 1924 had this to say, "The death of the former pastor of New Germany Rt. Rev. Msgr. Foerster who passed away at St. Clements on Wednesday, has cast a gloom over the whole community. The beloved pastor left here only 4 weeks ago when his parishioners and other friends bade him a hearty farewell, little realizing that he would be called from this life in a few short weeks. On Feb. 5th 1924, our beloved Msgr. was laid to rest. The Church was crowded with friends and former parishioners in spite of the terrible storm, the solemn requiem high mass was being celebrated by the deceased priest's nephew, Rev. W. M. Becker."

gradually overcome all difficulties. On his rounds from house to house for subscriptions for the new church, Father came to one Martin Goetz, a good man, who subscribed $100.00 without coaxing. This man said he had subscribed $4.00 to the first church built in 1847-48, but that payment caused him no end of worry and work to get the $4.00 while the $100.00 subscribe now would not trouble him.


      Meanwhile the parish continued to grow and work and responsibilities increased. In 1882, the Sisters of Notre Dame arrived, and they were a great support to Father during these difficult times. Due to the growing community of the Sisters of Notre Dame, Fr. Foerster fronted the money to build an addition to their small home, which consisted of a reception room and a chapel on the first floor as well as two bedrooms on the second floor. In addition to Fr. Foerster's work at home in New Germany, he is also accredited to building the present brick church in Elmira in 1889, which he served with monthly services for some time.


      In 1890, on the 26th of June, to be exact, the Sisters once again gave us some idea of his popularity when Fr. Stephen undertook a trip to Europe. He was honorably escorted as far as Breslau by 24 riders amid the peeling of bells and shooting of guns. Quite a send off.


      Four neat little chapels were also created during Fr. Foerster's pastorate on the four corners of the Church land (our present new cemetery) for Corpus Christi processions. Two are still standing and continue to be used each year.


      In 46 years a pastor and his people became very dear to one another. Fr. Foerster was like a father surrounded by his children. He married virtually all those in his parish who had been married within 46 years, and he had baptised nearly

all from the age of 46 down to the last infant born in the parish.

      Fr. Foerster came from Cologne shortly after his ordination and arrived in Canada in June 1874. After serving first at Formosa and St. Joseph's in Hamilton, he was appointed pastor of New Germany in November of 1878.


      As a young man of 29 years of age it was not long before he realized he was to have his hands full. His most difficult and problemsome undertaking was the payment of the debt of this beautiful new church. At every step along the way he had to listen to all the mistakes, real and imaginary, of his predecessors.


      The church debt completion was $11,000, (by today's standard was a very small amount) but in those days was insurmountable. Years of bad harvest and poor markets helped to compound the problems. However, father was not long in showing that his energy, perseverance, and unruffled good nature

Msgr. Stephen Foerster

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