There's just something so cool about old buildings. Stearns County's oldest church is located in St. Joseph. Constructed in 1869, by a German immigrant community, the Church of St. Joseph was built when the town of St. Joseph was still named "Clinton".

What sparked the community wanting such a large place of worship?

The first Mass in the community was celebrated by Francis Xavier Pierz on October 22, 1854, when the town was still named Clinton. The first church building was completed a year later, and a small log school building was attached in 1860. The parish decided to build a more spacious building, measuring 66 by 150 feet, with the lower half consisting of native fieldstones and the upper half of granite brick from a nearby quarry.

There is a rectory building east of the church as well, and both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. They were added in 1982 for their state-level significance in the themes of architecture, exploration/settlement, and religion. The document pertaining to it being added to the register details Catholic settlement in Stearns County, and how churches and communities got started in the area. You can see the full document here! 

This year we celebrate 150 years of a beautiful building we are so lucky to have right here in our area! If you are interested in checking out a service there here are the Mass times:

  • Saturday, 5 pm
  • Sunday, 8 am & 10 am
  • Tuesday–Friday: 8 am