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Paynesville Press - June 23, 2004

Brother to celebrate 50 years at St. Martin Parish Festival

By Mandy Mayer

Brother Michael "Willie" Mandernach, a native of St. Martin, will be back in his hometown on Sunday, June 27, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee at his childhood church's parish festival.

Brother Mandernach is celebrating 50 years as a member of the Brothers of St. Pius X in the Diocese of La Crosse in Wisconsin.

Mandernach went to school in St. Martin at District 22 and then to St. John's Prep from 1943-47. He joined brotherhood in 1952 because he felt it was what God wanted him to do, and he answered the call to serve others.

He has served as a director of religious education for about 20 years and as pastoral associate in several parishes for 15 years. He has helped a lot of children in his life, said Mandernach.

Mandernach completed the Formation Directors Program at Aquinas Institute in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1974 and received his Master of Divinity Degree from St. John's School of Theology in Collegeville in 1982.

Ten of the thirteen Mandernach siblings are still living with Cyril being the only one who still lives in St. Martin. Three Mandernach sisters serve as nuns and two brothers, including Willie, are brothers.

The St. Martin Parish Festival has taken place for more than 25 years, according to Father Julian Schmiesing. It begins on Sunday, June 27, with a polka mass at 10 a.m. honoring Brother Mandernach.

Following the mass, a chicken and ham dinner will be served at the parish center from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (adults $6 and children under age 12 $3); Kid Country, with family entertainer George Jester, will perform at 1:30 p.m.; a quilt auction will be held at 3 p.m.; live music by the Country Polkateers will play from 1-3 p.m. and by Young Country from 4-8 p.m. Games, food stands, and beverage stands will be available throughout the day.

Brother Mandernach is very excited to come back to St. Martin. He said the parish and community have always been very good to him.

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