Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Longtime Organizer Reflects on History of Service, Commitment to Church and Willingess to See Germanfest Succeed

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Longtime Organizer Reflects on History of Service, Commitment to Church and Willingess to See Germanfest Succeed

Article excerpt

Maureen Steinbock was the first generation of her family to be born in the United States.

Her father, born in Kamenka, Russia, was transported to Germany and then the U.S. before starting a family with Marcella Domme, who founded the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish's Germanfest

Through the years, things have changed -- the parish merged with St. Joseph's, new priests arrived, bands came and went. But one thing has remained consistent -- the recipes Domme passed on to her daughter for the annual festival.

Steinbock took over the planning for Germanfest in 1974 and retired last year. With her protegees learning the ropes, Steinbock still stands by vigilantly to assist.

"This is my parish, and I'm going to stay here," Steinbock said, "and I'm determined that it's going to succeed."

Lisa Steinbock and JoAn Domme are working to take over the festivities, but Steinbock reassures them she won't leave before they are ready.

"I'm going to try to make it out to the grounds this year," Steinbock said. "It's time that I got out."

Beginning June 3, Sacred Heart-St. Joseph's will begin its two-day festival at the parish, 312 N.E. Freeman, to celebrate German heritage. As one of the only Germanfests in the area, Steinbock said, people come from all over to eat their famous cuisine.

Popular dishes include krautstrudel, a savory blend of hamburger and cooked cabbage in a pastry; sauerbraten, tender beef marinated in wine; and rivvel kuchen, or German coffee cake.

Steinbock said it isn't uncommon for a line to form two hours before Sunday's lunch with people clamoring for sauerbraten, which isn't available at Saturday's dinner.

"Saturday it's more the brats and the German sausage, German potato salad, German dumplings, your noodles, that kind of thing, and your grebble and the chocolate cake, things like that," she said. …

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