Welcome to the
Kolping Society of Rochester
Officers & Contact
President – Joseph Schwan
Praeses – Fr. Winfried Kellner
National Representative – Lucille Schwind
284 Malden Street
Rochester, NY 14615-2658
History of Rochester Kolping
The Rochester Kolping Society was founded by two young immigrants from Germany, Willy Wittman from Straubing, Bavaria and Adolf Rister from Eisleben-Harz Mountain. Members of the Gesellenverein in Germany since 1918, both men arrived in Rochester in May, 1925. It was when they first met in the Spring of 1926 that they decided to start a Catholic Kolping in Rochester.
The following years were marked by growth and activity. On June 30, 1927 the Ladies Auxiliary was founded and during the years has been an invaluable source of help, encouragement, cooperation and inspiration to the society. In the summer of 1928, we sponsored six members of the Cologne Kolping to come to Rochester as immigrants.
On September 1, 2 and 3, 1951, Rev. A. J. Aylward, CSSR, our Praeses, turned the Redemptorist Retreat House over to us for our convention center. General Praeses, Dr. Bernhard Ridder came from Cologne to attend. Rev. James W. Kearney, Bishop of Rochester, celebrated the Silver Jubilee anniversary Mass.
Activities over the years included sending delegates to conventions of the various German societies. Family activities also were stressed: Christmas parties and children’s’ Christmas plays, May walks, steak roasts, picnics and card parties. There was an annual Anniversary Dance and exchange visits between our brother society in Buffalo. Participation in the Federation of German Society’s annual German Day Picnic was always a huge affair drawing thousands of people.
At our 50th anniversary in 1976, we were host to the 21st National Convention. We were very honored by the presence of the Most Reverend Joseph L. Bernardin, Archbishop of Cincinnati and Episcopal Moderator of the Kolping Society of America.
In 1978, we elected our first woman President, Eleanor Schwind.
During the course of our 73 years, many priests, journeymen and women worked together towards the fulfillment of the principles and ideals of our society. We will never be able to estimate the true value of their work, co-operation and good example. We give them our gratitude and thanks and remember them in our prayers. May Father Kolping receive them into his heavenly society and give them a resting place in his Kolping House, our eternal Father’s House.