Assumption of the Blessed Mary Catholic Community
In November 1911, forty families in the Welby vegetable farming area, gathered to discuss building a Catholic church. A month later one acre of land was purchased from the Denver-Laramie Railroad and work began on building history.
The Italian descent farmers would meet in Rotolo’s grocery store until the church was built. The original cost of the church was only $1300.00. On May 12, 1912 the church was completed and dedicated to the Blessed Mother under the title of the Assumption.
In October of 1912 the church was offered to the Order, the Servants of Mary, who were staffing Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Servite Order remained at Assumption until June 2003. In 1941 the vestibule was added along with the west bell tower.
Then in 1947, the church was completely torn down, except for the vestibule and the west bell tower. When the freeze on building was lifted after World War II, a second bell tower was built. Many original items were used in the new church.
In 1920, construction for a Catholic school had begun. The school opened in September of that same year to 250 students in grades kindergarten through high school. The school was placed in the care of the Sisters, Servants of Mary.
In 1950 ground was broken for a gymnasium and a kitchen, so the women of the parish had a place to cook their famous Annual Spaghetti Dinner. This added to the school. A garage was built alongside the kitchen that eventually became the cafeteria. The high school closed in 1952.
Church and School Remodeling
On May 6, 1962, with Fr. Julius M. Porcellini, O.S.M. as pastor, the parish celebrated it’s 50th anniversary. A fund drive was held to finance improvements to the parish buildings. The front rectory was removed and a hallway was constructed to join the church and rectory buildings. A new front was added onto the school, creating more office space. Mass was celebrated and dinner followed.
In 1978 extensive remodeling was done to the school and the church.
- New lights and new carpet were installed in the church.
- The stained glass windows were covered on the outside with ½ inch protective sheet of Lexan.
- The gymnasium was painted.
- A new floor, and evaporative coolers were installed in the school.
- All school ceilings were lowered and all windows were replaced.
- All electrical work was brought up to fire regulation code.
- A new fire alarm system and public address system was installed.
The community of Assumption has always been the backbone of this parish, from the “Renew” program in the 1980’s to the “Follow Me” program in the early 2000’s. The gem of this parish goes to the annual BAZAAR and SPAGHETTI DINNER.
Originally, the Spaghetti Dinner was a part of the annual Bazaar. The school children enjoyed this as they were given two days off from school. The bazaar was a four-day event, Thursday through Sunday in November. The bazaar has flourished into the biggest funding and social event of the year at Assumption Parish. It is still reminiscent of the 1920’s.
In 1963, however, the annual Bazaar was moved from November to the summertime, and called the “Outdoor Bazaar”, as we know it today. It provides an incredible opportunity for community, stewardship, socializing, and enjoyment. For more information on our annual “Outdoor Bazaar” event, contact the parish office.
The Spaghetti Dinner is still a parish favorite. This annual event is coordinated by the Mollinaro family for all to enjoy. Normally hosted in November, it provides another wonderful occasion to celebrate our community of Assumption Parish.
In 2003, after 90 years, the Servants of Mary relinquished Assumption Parish to the Archdiocese of Denver. Fr. Peter Dinh became the first diocese priest to serve Assumption.
Fr. Peter remodeled the church offices, updated the school, installed new carpet in the church, and remodeled the church sanctuary with marble.
A magnificent, new organ was purchased and installed in the choir loft. Air-conditioning units were set up and installed to make the Sunday Masses more comfortable.
Dedication: On November 17th, 1911, forty Italian-American families of the Welby area met to discuss the building of a Catholic Church. One month later, an acre of ground was purchased and work began on a new church building. Father Joseph Bosetti, a young priest who had just completed his studies in Rome was assigned leadership of this new community. The cornerstone of the Church was set in place on February 12th, 1912 in a solemn religious ceremony conducted by His Excellency Bishop Nicholas C. Matz, Bishop of Denver and Father Bosetti. The church was completed and dedicated to the Blessed Mother under the title of the Assumption on May 12th, 1912. Records indicate the annual parish Bazaar and Spaghetti Dinner traditions originated around 1920.
25th Anniversary: On May 23rd, 1937, Father Barsi celebrated a Mass in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the church. Father Bosetti returned to Welby to sing this anniversary mass, celebrated in conjunction with the graduation of seven students from the eighth grade. International dignitaries attended praising the students and the community of Assumption for their progress in Welby; building and maintaining a church, rectory, school, convent, helping finance a ‘new’ oiled road into Denver, forming the Vegetable Growers Association, and building the Denargo Market located at 29th and Broadway in Denver which, in a new form, is still operational today.
50th Anniversary: The 50th Anniversary in May 1962 provided new cause for celebration. By this time, a gymnasium had been built behind the school and included a kitchen so that the women of the parish would have an easier time cooking the annual spaghetti dinner that had become famous throughout the area. The school was remodeled to accommodate the increase in students attending Assumption school. Six Masses were celebrated every Sunday and the first Sunday evening Mass was instituted with special permission from the Archbishop.
75th Anniversary: On May 11th, 1987, Archbishop Francis Stafford of Denver celebrated Mass to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Our Lady of the Assumption Church, the Diamond Jubilee. The celebration continued throughout the year with a Hawaiian Luau in August and Dinner-Dance at the Denver Regency Hotel in December. Many improvements and remodeling have taken place at the church; new lights, new carpet, fresh paint, stained glass windows, and refinished pews. In the gymnasium, had a new floor and evaporative coolers installed as well as a fresh coat of paint. In the school, all ceilings were lowered, windows were replaced along with new lights, carpets and baseboard heater.. Electrical work was brought up to fire regulation code and a new fire alarm and public address system was installed.
100th Anniversary: On May 12, 2012, we celebrated 100 years as Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. Our “Centennial Celebration” featured a beautiful Mass with then Auxiliary Bishop of Denver, James D. Conley presiding and multiple con-celebrants including Father Brian Morrow, Pastor of Assumption. The Knights of Columbus were in attendance at the centennial Mass wearing their colorful regalia as well as hundreds of faithful parishioners. After Mass, the beautiful statue of the Pieta and surrounding “Flame of Love Wall” was commemorated and blessed by Rev. James Conley. It stands as an ongoing memorial to the people and personal events of Assumption Parish. Paver bricks are surrounding the statue inscribed with names and dates and memorabilia of the history and people of Assumption.
Our Centennial Celebration Mass
On May 12, 2012, we celebrated 100 years as Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. Our “Centennial Celebration” featured a beautiful Mass with then Auxiliary Bishop of Denver, James D. Conley presiding and multiple con-celebrants including Father Brian Morrow, Pastor of Assumption.
The Knights of Columbus were in attendance at the centennial Mass wearing their colorful regalia as well as hundreds of faithful parishioners.
After Mass, the beautiful statue of the Pieta and surrounding “Flame of Love Wall” was commemorated and blessed by Rev. James Conley. It stands as an ongoing memorial to the people and personal events of Assumption Parish. Paver bricks are surrounding the statue inscribed with names and dates and memorabilia of the history and people of Assumption.
We invite you to join us and become a part of the legacy of Assumption Parish by placing an inscribed paver brick in the “Flame of Love,” wall. The “Flame of Love” wall is an ongoing memorial wall, being built to commemorate this special anniversary event.
You can continue to be a part of the “Flame of Love” wall commemorating your special event such as a birth, baptism, marriage or death. Paver bricks are also an excellent way for alumni to remember their days at Assumption School, the Secular Order of the Servants of Mary, a special person or friend.
Celebrate your community. Live your faith. Order your paver brick today.
For more information on how to become part of the rich history of Assumption Parish and the “Flame of Love” wall, contact the parish office.