The March Wind
By Bishop Karl Prüter
outside my window i watch the fir tree
it bends to the march wind
safe and free
no branches break or suffer harm
God has given the fir tree strength
has He made me like the fir?
can i stand firm when (i) before…
am i able to bend at the buffeting of life?
before the buffeting of life?
or can i safely bend before life’s shifts?
He who made the tree also made me.
He gave us both strength in the amount we need.
He loves the trees and He loves me.
the tree does not complain
God bids me to do the same
for He loves all He created
and bestows his blessing as
In Memory of The Most Reverend Karl Hugo Rehling Prüter
On His Feast Day – The Memorial of His Death
Born July 3, 1920 – Passed Into Glory November 18, 2007
Bishop Karl Hugo Rehling Prüter was born July 3, 1920 in Poughkeepsie, New York. Following high school there he completed undergraduate work at Boston’s Northeastern University, and then earned his master’s degree in divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. After starting his ecclesiastical career as a congregational minister, he wrote two books, the second of which, Neo-Congregationalism was later revised to include a chapter relating the personal sojourn that brought him to the Free Catholic Movement.
In 1967 Bishop Prüter was consecrated bishop of Christ Catholic Church, and the church, under his leadership, significantly influenced the entire Free Catholic Movement. He served as Presiding Archbishop of Christ Catholic Church until August of 2007 when he retired to concentrate on his writing. He devoted much of his time to spiritual writing and to promoting the retreat and peace movements. Throughout his work in the church, Bishop Prüter conducted literally hundreds of retreats for both Protestant and Catholic groups.
Along with having written scores of religious booklets, Bishop Prüter also authored over twenty books. Bishop Prüter, along with many other jobs held in his life, was a lifelong educator, a lover of knowledge, and of the printed word.
Perhaps most notable in the Ozarks, is the fact that Bishop Prüter served at the Cathedral of the Prince of Peace in Highlandville Missouri. The Cathedral held the title and record, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, as the World’s Smallest Cathedral. (14′ X 18′ seating about a dozen souls) The original stone building was a wash house built around the turn of the century and had served many purposes over the years prior to becoming the World’s Smallest Cathedral.
In the early eighties Bishop Prüter moved to Highlandville seeking a quieter more contemplative life. Fr. Karl wasted no time in converting the old wash house into a place of prayer and worship. With a Bavarian blue cupola, a stained glass portrayal of Jesus as the Prince of Peace, a lovely antique altar, and two rows of pews with kneelers, the Cathedral of the Prince of Peace was opened for worship. It was Bishop Prüter’s discipline to celebrate mass at the cathedral daily until his retirement. From its beginning the Cathedral saw thousands of visitors from all around the world as pilgrims stopped by to offer a prayer, share a story, or gather to worship.
Well known, the World’s Smallest Cathedral served as a landmark and monument for the Free Catholic Movement in America welcoming all through its humble doors, a tourist destination for the state of Missouri, and a fitting tribute to the ministry of a beloved Free Catholic Bishop from the Ozarks.
The Cathedral property in Highlandville was eventually sold and the once proud Cathedral was returned to humble secular use as a garden shed. Christ Catholic Church Archdiocese of the Prince of Peace lives on however, carrying out much of the work and ministry Bishop Karl Prüter, of blessed memory, dedicated his life to.
Father Karl, please pray for us.