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Rev. Samuel V. Fraser. One of the younger members of the Roman Catholic clergy in Kansas is Rev. Samuel V. Fraser, pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Minneapolis, who in this, his first charge, had shown that he possesses with the dignity of his high calling Christian zeal, tempered with the knowledge of and sympathy for human frailty, that had endeared him to his parishioners, had won him the respect of his fellow citizens in general and promises to so increase his influence that it is certain that a rich field of usefulness awaits his future.
Father Fraser belongs to Kansas. He was born at Concordia, this state, May 31, 1890, and is in the fourth generation descending from the founders of the family in Canada. His ancestors came from Corkell, Invernesshire, Scotland, with the Scotch Regiment of Highlanders, commanded by Simon Fraser, as a unit of the British army, in 1759, and remained permanent settlers of the Dominion of Canada.
Francis Xavior Fraser, father of Rev. Samuel V. Fraser, was born near Three Rivers, Canada, in 1843. In 1849 he was taken by his parents to the United States and they settled in the French Village of Bourbonnais, near Kankakee, Illinois. In 1886 he removed to Cloud County, Kansas, in 1908 retiring to Concordia, and there his death occurred in the following year. All his active life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. He was married in Illinois to Flora Berard, who was born near Three Rivers, Canada, in 1849 and was taken to Illinois by her parents in 1853. She resided at Concordia, Kansas. Of the family of fourteen children born to this marriage, Father Fraser was the thirteenth child in order of birth, the others being: Daniel, who is a farmer residing near Aurora, Kansas; Clara, who is the wife of John Perrier, a farmer near Olpe, Kansas; Edmond, who is a farmer near Eil Roy, Minnesota; Cecelia, who is the wife of John B. Gaudreau, who conducts a restanrant business at Concordia; Fred, who is a Christian Brother in Saint Joseph’s College at Glenco, Missouri; Luey, who is the wife of John Herbert, a farmer near Aurora, Kansas; Hattie, who is a nun, Sister Eveline, at Saint George’s Station, Illinois; Aldia, who is Sister Chlotilda, in a convent in Chicago, Illinois; a daughter who died at the age of ten months; Jesse, who resided on the old homestead at Concordia; Gasper, who is a farmer near Concordia; Louis, who died at the age of sixteen years, at Concordia; and Josephine, who resided at Concordia with her mother and sister.
Samuel V. Fraser in boyhood attended the public schools in Cloud County and then entered Saint Bemedict’s College at Atchison, Kansas, and there received his preliminary training for the priesthood, remaining five years and being graduated in 1909. His profleiency in his studies led him then to the path that gave him the opportunity to complete the same in the Amerlcan Catholic Seminary that was affiliated with the great University of Louvain, Belgium, where he firished his philosophieal and theological course and was graduated in 1914, and he reached his home in Kansas about the time of the outbreak of the great European war.
Father Fraser was ordained in the same year, in Louvain, and his first mass was said in the Cathedral of Concordia. He was appointed in the same year pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Couception at Minneapolis, and had continued in charge ever since. This parish is thirty-two years old, the first priest to begin organizing being Father O’Leary, and in 1885 the erection of the church was commenced, its location being on Rock Street, as is also the parish house. Father Fraser had been able to affect the parish with some of his own enthusiasm and now had about 100 members, while many church organizations and helpful agencies have been started and are flourishing. Father Fraser had two missions also under his pastorate, Saint Patrick’s on Vine Creek and Saint Francis Borgia at Ada, Kansas. The Knights of Columbus as a Catholie organization meets with his approval as to its aims and he is a member of Abilene Council.
It was a world calamity when the great University of Louvain was wantonly destroyed in 1915, and Father Fraser finds in his grief over the loss of that wonderful and priceless library, in which he had spent so many studious hours, a subject for lifelong regret. In this he had the sympathy of thousands with memories of their own who mourn artistic losses that seemingly no future civilization can ever replace.