The Adams County town of Westminster grew up around Westminster College, a soaring castle-like building on the highest hill in what is now a thriving suburban community. Between 1940 and 1950, the town’s population tripled from 534 to 1,619.
Rev. John Giambastiani, the Servite pastor of nearby Assumption parish in Welby, realized that mushrooming Westminster needed a parish of its own.He held a meeting in September 1948, in the home of Anthony Blatter, where eighty families opted to form a parish. Archbishop Vehr bought a four-acre tract on West 72nd Avenue between Hooker and Irving streets in December 1946.
For $6,000, an army barracks was moved to the tract and capped with a cross and steeple. Approximately 150 worshippers showed up for the first Mass on Christmas Day, 1948. Archbishop Vehr formally dedicated the church to the Holy Trinity on April 7, 1949, and asked Forrest Allen of St. Anne’s in Arvada to handle it on a mission basis. The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet from St. Catherine parish began teaching catechism in January 1949.
By August 28, 1957, when Holy Trinity Church had to offer four Masses each Sunday to accommodate 1,100 parish households, Rev. Albert Puhl was appointed the first full-time pastor. He lived at St. Anne’s in Arvada until the Frank Huber home at 7190 Julian Street was procured as a rectory. The fast-growing parish soon had to offer additional Masses in Westminster High School, and the building committee decided that the four-acre site was inadequate.
The old site was sold for $85,000, and a new 12.33-acre site was purchased for $68,000. The new location contained two old houses and some rickety outbuildings that were demolished before groundbreaking on September 7, 1958. To guide and inspire the parish through the construction process, Father Puhl placed a small roadside shrine to Christ Crucified in what was then a sheep field, which now greets all who come into the parking lot.
The new $250,000 building to house the growing worship community was dedicated on September 24, 1959. A $103,000 rectory was completed in 1962, and a convent in 1965. The $222,857 school opened in the fall of 1966, staffed by four lay teachers and four Dominicans from Great Bend, Kansas, until the sisters withdrew in 1985.
“From the Heart to the Head” is the motto of Holy Trinity School, 3050 West 76th Avenue, which offers education from preschool (age four) to eighth grade, as well as extended care before and after school. Father Puhl saw his booming parish through the changes inspired by Vatican II, including replacement of the traditional Latin Mass with an English service in 1964. After seventeen years at the parish he founded, Father Puhl stepped down in 1973, when the Servite order took charge. Since then, the Servite priests guided Holy Trinity Parish until the summer of 2000.
Fr. John Hilton arrived that summer, bringing the gift of Eucharistic Adoration in the convent chapel, with a surprising number of generous parishioners signing up to adore Our Lord.
Thanks to the prayers of all our adorers, the efforts of many volunteers and the generosity of all our parishioners, many things were accomplished in such a short period of time:
•In February of 2002, Holy Trinity opened the doors to the Spanish-speaking community of Westminster, by offering a Spanish Mass at 1pm. Presently, offering two Spanish Masses.
•In June 2004, our school children got a much-needed new playground.
•In 2004, Hyland Hills and Holy Trinity agreed on building a Softball field on unused acreage, resulting in a very beneficial partnership.
Thanks to many dedicated parishioners and contributors, the construction of the new Fr. Albert Puhl Parish Center was started in 2006 and finished in November 2007.
In 2008, an anonymous donor contributed towards the renovation of the adoration chapel. In 2005, Cecilia Aguayo generously “wrote” the icons of St. Michael and St. Gabriel, guarding the Blessed Sacrament in the newly renovated chapel.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Holy Trinity, the renovation of the church started in 2009 and finished in May 2010.
Thanks to the generosity of all our parishioners, and the inspired leadership of Fr. Hilton, we are able to have a spacious gathering space, the school children are able to play indoor sports. The faithful not only from our Parish, but from all surrounding areas, are able to go to our Lord and feel His presence in an inviting a beautiful chapel and we can all worship in a church that is not only beautiful but also uplifting.
In the summer of 2010, Fr. John Paul Leyba arrived to Holy Trinity finding a beautiful church and a great community.
For more information on the renovation, click here.