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Essential 3

The History of St. Joseph Parish

Most people like to know something about the history of the parish in which they have a membership. Since the early pioneer days of 1856 St. Joseph's Parish has been a major factor in the settlement and growth of our area.

After twelve years of celebrating mass in area homes, a centrally located site was chosen for the building of the new church. The new church, located about three miles southwest of Rosemount was completed in August 1868.

In May 1881, a cyclone destroyed this church and a second church was constructed in Rosemount and dedicated on November 13, 1881. On May 19, 1924 ground breaking ceremonies took place for a new church replacing the 43 year old wooden building which had become too small for the fast-growing parish. The first Mass in the church on Hwy 3 was offered at the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve 1924.

St. Joseph's Parish School was built and classes began on September 8, 1953, staffed by the Sisters of St. Agnes. The parish convent for the Sisters was completed in April 1965 and in July 1969 a new rectory was built.

In recent years, three new parishes have been formed from St. Joseph's Parish. Risen Savior in Apple Valley was founded in 1970, St. John Neumann in Eagan in 1977 and St. Thomas Becket in Eagan in 1990.

In 1985 the Sisters of Agnes withdrew from their commitment to our parish school. As a result, the convent was converted for use as the Parish Center.

As parish leaders visioned the future around the turn of the century, it was apparent that the existing campus on Highway 3 in downtown Rosemount would not be large enough to build for the projected growth of our parish. In 2001 the parish purchased 29 acres on Biscayne Avenue and Connemara Trail. This land would become the new campus for our parish. In 2003, the first phase of our new campus was completed with the opening of the new Worship space and the parish offices. In 2005, the City of Rosemount purchased the original church and school property from the parish with the intent of creating a community meeting space called the Steeple Center. With this purchase, the parish was able to begin plans for constructing a new school and much needed meeting space at our new site. In 2009, the second phase of our new campus was opened. This addition included a beautiful new school and additional meeting space for community gatherings and events.

Since 1918, St. Joseph's Parish has had only five pastors: 1918-1952 Father Lawrence Carey; 1952-1973 Father James Furey; 1973-1984 Father Robert Dunn; Father Francis Roach 1984-1997, Fr. Thomas Hill 1997 - 2011, Fr. Paul Jarvis 2011-2015 and Fr. Paul Kammen who is our present Pastor.

We look forward to our proud history continuing toward our proud future.