Day in and day out, so many things happen in our parish. Our history is a testament to that. For over 150 years, people have given time and time again: of their treasure to build beautiful churches; and of their time and talent to use their skills to help the parish by volunteering to lead, to teach, to serve, to build and to help their parish in any way.

Timeline of Pastors & Churches

1867—Construction of the First Church (Corner of Pilot Knob & 170th St)
1868—Officially founded St. Joseph Parish
1867-1877 Fr. Anatole Oster
1877-1878 Fr. Patrick Glennon
1878-1882 Fr. Michael Quinn
1882 Fr. Claude Genis
1882-1897 Fr. Arthur Hurley
1882—Construction of the Second Church
1897-1904 Fr. Hugh MacDevitt
1904-1910 Fr. Terence Moore
1910-1916 Fr. Lawrence Cosgrove
1916-1918 Fr. William Dobbin
1924, December 24—The Third Church was dedicated
1918-1952 Fr. Lawrence Carey
1952—Construction began for the School
1952-1973 Fr. James Furey
1973-1984 Fr. Robert Dunn
1984-1997 Fr. Francis Roach
1997-2011 Fr. Thomas Hill
2003, October 5—Fourth Church is dedicated
2011-2015 Fr. Paul Jarvis
2015- Fr. Paul Kammen

HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH PARISH

St. Joseph's Parish was officially founded on Sunday, August 30, 1868. This is the date St. Joseph’s first church building was dedicated in Lakeville by Bishop Thomas Grace. It should be realized that the dedication of the church building is not the true beginning of a parish, but the culmination of the efforts of its first parishioners to establish a formal place of worship. The real beginning of a parish starts with the story of the people whose visions and beliefs made the church a reality.

1850-1854

St. Joseph’s Parish was officially founded on Sunday, August 30, 1868. This is the date St. Joseph’s first church building was dedicated at Lakeville by Bishop Thomas Grace. It should be realized that the dedication of the church building is not the true beginning of a parish, but the culmination of the efforts of its first parishioners to establish a formal place of worship. The real beginning of a parish starts with the story of the people whose visions and beliefs made the church a reality.

In 1851-52 treaties with the Dakota (Sioux) opened up 24,000,000 acres of land in the Minnesota Territory. The treaty at Traverse des Sioux was signed on July 23, 1851 and the treaty of Mankato was signed August 5,1851. These treaties were ratified by the United States Senate on June 23, 1852. Even before the treaties were ratified, the lands were being surveyed and settlers began to arrive.

In the spring of 1853, Captain Wm. B. Dodd began construction of a road from St. Paul to St. Peter. Eventually a military road ran from Fort Snelling to Sioux City, Iowa, and Dodd Road quickly became the main thoroughfare through the area. 

Joseph Brackett and Griffin Phelps were the first settlers in what would become Lakeville and brothers William and Walter Strathern were the first Rosemount settlers. 

1853-54 saw a steady stream of land seekers traveling down Dodd Road from St. Paul to what is now Dakota County. A sizable number of Irish and Germans settled in this vicinity. The Irish families of John and Michael Sheridan, John Devitt, Rodger and Patrick Casey, and Michael Johnston, founding families of St. Joseph’s, settled in Lakeville while Patrick Moran, James Murphy and brothers Andrew and Daniel Keegan settled in Rosemount.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1854-1858

In April of 1855, the first Catholic Church service in the area was held by Fr. John McMahon, pastor of the Church of the Guardian Angles in Hastings. It took place at the home of Michael and Mary Johnston near Crystal Lake, in what is now Lakeville. Other homes (small log shanties) also used for services were those of John Lenihan, John Cuniff and Stephen Delaney.

The first recorded baptism in this area was of Catherine Martin, the six-year-old daughter of John and Catherine. It was performed by Fr. McMahon on February 26, 1856 in Lakeville. The following day, Steven Moran, two-month-old son of Lawrence and Margaret, was also baptized.

St. Patrick’s Church in Inver Grove was founded in 1856 and was attended by Fr. Ravoux, pastor of St. Peter’s in Mendota.

Fr. Ravoux is an important figure in the history of St. Joseph’s. Due to the large influx of Catholic settlers, the St. Paul Diocese was woefully short of priests. This was especially true in the northern and western portions of Dakota County with its large numbers of Irish immigrants. In 1853, Fr. Ravoux had been sent to Europe to recruit priests for the diocese. He returned in 1854 with seven seminarians. The youngest and last ordained was Felix Tissot, who was born in Lyons, France in 1835. He was ordained in Dubuque, Iowa on August 15, 1858 and was immediately sent to serve as assistant pastor at St. Peter’s and its missions.

Although 1857 began in good fashion, by the end of the year farmers were caught in a major depression. Locally the stream of new settlers stopped, and many farmers lost their farms. Slowly the depression eased and those farmers that were able to tough it out became some of the wealthiest families in the area.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1858-1859

Soon after his arrival at St. Peter’s in 1858, Fr. Tissot came to Rosemount and held the first service in the township at the home of John and Johanna Murphy. This small congregation formed the Rosemount Mission.

Fr. Tissot’s stay at St. Peter’s and its missions was short, and early in 1859 he was appointed a pastor and sent to Wabasha to organize a new parish, which was named St. Felix.

In 1858, Fr. McMahon of Hastings still held occasional services in Lakeville homes. On Sept 10, 1858 he performed the first Catholic marriage in the area uniting John Sheridan and Mary Loftus.

Fr. McMahon, in addition to Hastings, had also been assigned as priest to Rosemount and three other towns. However, he left Minnesota in 1859. Fr. Thomas Murray was then assigned pastor of Hastings in December, 1859, but he remained for only ten months.

In 1859, Fr. Claude Robert was pastor of St. Peter’s in Mendota and his territory included St. John the Baptist in Burnsville and four other towns including Lakeville. Born in France, he was one of the seven seminarians recruited by Fr. Ravoux. He remained at St. Peter’s until 1866.

Catholic services were held irregularly in the Lakeville and Rosemount area from 1855-59, however, by 1860, the "Metropolitan Catholic Almanac and Laity’s Directory," for the first time, listed services in this area.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1860-1868

Beginning in 1854, the Benedictine Order assisted the St. Paul Diocese by sending missionaries to Minnesota. In 1860, Fr. Patrick Coffey OSB was appointed pastor of Hasting’s Guardian Angels Church and its missions, including Rosemount. He was a native of North Carolina and attended the seminary in Charleston, South Carolina. He was ordained in May, 1844. As a southerner, the attack on Fort Sumter that began the Civil War made his life at Hastings uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. He left Hastings in June of 1861.

After his departure, Hastings was without a pastor until another European recruit of Fr. Ravoux, French born Fr. Francis Hurth, was assigned in the latter part of 1861.

Sometime between 1861 and 1864 the Lakeville mission was also assigned to Fr. Hurth along with Rosemount, as well as St. Patrick’s in Inver Grove and Spring Lake Park. He remained in Hastings until 1868 when he returned to France.

In 1866, easterner Fr. J. Thaddeus Stephens was assigned to St. John the Baptist Church in Burnsville. At this time, the Rosemount and Lakeville missions were assigned to him from Hastings. Neither mission was large enough to support a church on its own so Fr. Stephens was directed to organize the two missions into one parish. However, both missions wanted to see the parish established in their area and further planning proved fruitless.

After just three months, Fr. Stephens left St. John’s and apparently returned east.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1868

After Fr. Stephens of St. John the Baptist Church in Burnsville left in 1866, St. John’s and its missions in Lakeville and Rosemount were without a pastor for 12 months.

In August 1867, Fr. Anatole Oster, with his thick German accent, was assigned to St. John’s. He was another of Fr. Ravoux’s seminarians recruited from Europe in 1854.

Fr. Oster immediately took up the challenge of combining the missions of Rosemount and Lakeville into one parish. A location was finally agreed upon at the intersection of Dodd Road, Flat Prairie (Pilot Knob Road) and Town Line Road (160th). This gave access from six directions.

On April 28, 1868, Thomas and Mary Hyland sold seven acres of their farm to Bishop Thomas Grace for $100. This was a fair market price in those days. The following day, Andrew Keegan of Rosemount surveyed three acres on the SW corner for the church and yard and four acres just to the south across Flat Prairie for a cemetery.

The church building was financed by notes from mission members to be repaid with 10% interest. Fr. Oster’s records show that 63 people loaned a total of $2360 towards construction, which began in June, 1868. By late August construction was far enough along that services could be held within the building.

On Sunday, August 30,1868, the church was dedicated to St. Joseph, and the first mass was said on a temporary altar. The first burial in the new cemetery took place a few days later when Katie Jane Murray, four- year-old daughter of Thomas and Bridget Murray of Lakeville, was laid to rest.

Christmas Mass, 1868, was celebrated using six new brass candlesticks and a matching crucifix.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1868-1870

No known photograph exists of St. Joseph’s first church on Dodd Road. What is known is that it was 36 feet by 70 feet and of wood frame construction. 

Fr. Oster’s records show that two carpenters named Vozina and Auger did most of the initial construction. All other workers listed were parishioners, including Daniel Lucy, John Keefe, Anthony Walsh, and Bartholomew McCarthy. The pews were made by the carpenters. Hugh Derham, Rosemount resident, donated $24.80 towards the purchase of a statue of St. Joseph, and seven months later William Murphy donated the balance due.

In February 1869, the permanent altar, confessional, and cloth press were built. A picket fence was built and installed part way around the church. Special collections in February and July went to pay for lightning rods. Late in the summer, two coats of plaster were applied to the interior, and by the end of 1869, the church began to take on a finished appearance.

Work continued until July of 1870. After a little more than two years the initial construction phase was completed. While the church lacked refinements such as a bell and steeple, the congregation could take satisfaction that they had financed the construction themselves and much of the work was done by parishioners.

With the church being located midway between Rosemount and Lakeville, getting to church often was difficult. Some had to walk considerable distances. The Rosemount family of Edward McLafferty brought their son Edward to church to be baptized in June of 1876 in a beer wagon – the only mode of transportation they could borrow.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1870-1873

In July 1871, the partial picket fence around the church was expanded and a fence was installed around part of the cemetery. 

Thomas Hyland’s farmhouse was a short distance behind the church and he served as the church sexton, taking care of the church grounds and building.

In 1872, special collections were taken up to purchase good Christian books for a parish library at a time when libraries were rare in rural areas.

In April of 1873, work on a major addition to the church began. It included a bell tower for the newly arrived bell. The base of the tower formed the main entrance to the church. A gallery or choir loft was added and other finishing work was done. The project was completed in September with the installation of a lightning rod for the steeple and a bell rope.

One of the main ways of supporting the new church was through the custom of charging pew rent. This practice remained at least into the 1940s. Originally there were fifteen rows of pews with a sixteenth added in 1873. Each row was divided into four ranges, two on each side of the center aisle. Each section or "range" was rented for six months. In 1868 the rent was $6.75 for each range in the first five pews and $4 for all the others. Only the first twelve rows were rented that year because parishioners were unhappy with the cost. In 1869, the rent was lowered to $4 for the first 5 rows and $3.50 for the next 5 and $3 for the remaining.

Renting a pew was a status symbol and a necessity if you wanted to sit. There were 135 families in those early years, and many large families didn’t fit in their portion of pew. Even with two masses each Sunday the church was filled to capacity. No one else sat in these rented pews until it was evident that the renters were not coming.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1873–1876

On February 16, 1873, the St. Joseph Total Abstinence Society was organized by Fr. Anatole Oster in the Village of Rosemount. There were twenty charter members. Members pledged to abstain from all intoxicating beverages. The Temperance Movement was growing rapidly at this time. The Abstinence Society became part of the Fr. Mathew Society of St. Paul which Fr. John Ireland had founded in i869. The Society later merged into the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of the Diocese of St. Paul.

The year 1876 was a year of great change for St. Joseph’s Parish. The congregation had grown and the decision was made to split the parish and build a new church in Lakeville. A two-acre lot was purchased from the railroad in Fairfield* Village. In early 1876 construction of All Saints Church began under the direction of Fr. Oster. The 36’ x 100’ frame church building was officially dedicated in 1877 and was added to Father Oster’s duties. His residence still remained at St. John the Baptist in Burnsville.

1876 also saw the construction of a temperance hall built by the St. Joseph Total Abstinence Society on a 55’ x 100’ lot purchased from parishioner Johanna Murphy. The Society’s membership had grown substantially since its formation in 1873 and eventually would peak at over 150 members. The Temperance Hall was built at a cost of $500 and was located on the site of the current Robert Trail Library parking lot.

*While these articles have been referring to the current name "Lakeville," that area was actually called Fairfield until 1878.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1877–1878

In April of 1877, Fr. Oster, still residing at St. John’s in Burnsville, was relieved of his duties as pastor of both St. Joseph’s and All Saints. Both were without a pastor until August 1st when Fr. Patrick F. Glennon was named St. Joseph’s second pastor.

Fr. Glennon was born in Rochester, New York about 1830. He studied at Notre Dame, Indiana and later at Buffalo, New York under the Ob-late Fathers. He was ordained in September of 1857 in Brooklyn, NY. He came to the St. Paul Diocese in 1868, first being sent to St. Peter’s Church in Mendota and later assigned as pastor of St. Patrick’s in Inver Grove.

In August 1877, he was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph’s, All Saints (Lakeville) and St. Michael’s (Farmington). He was directed by the Diocese to take up permanent residence in Rosemount Village. Two acres were purchased by the Diocese from Mrs. Johanna Murphy on September 6, 1877 and the deed was transferred on November 13th. This property was just 70 feet north of the Temperance Hall and eventually the parish purchased the remaining property between the two.

Finally in 1878 construction of the rectory began under the direction of Fr. Glennon and was completed about May 1st. Two weeks later Fr. Glennon was assigned to replace Fr. Oster at St. John the Baptist Church in Burnsville and once again St. Joseph’s was without a pastor. This lasted until September 21, 1878 when Fr. Michael Quinn was named pastor of St. Joseph’s, All Saints, and St. Michael’s.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson .

1878–1880

Fr. Michael Quinn was born in Lockport, Ireland in 1855 and studied at St. Bernard’s College and Hallows College in Ireland. He was ordained on June 24, 1878, left Ireland for St. Paul, arriving on September 15, 1878. He was sent to Rosemount six days later. He was accompanied by his sister, Cecelia, who acted as his housekeeper, and her four-year-old son, Edward Riley. He remained at St. Joseph’s until May 10, 1882, when he was sent to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Watertown.

Although many histories state that St. Joseph’s first church was destroyed on May 7, 1881, it actually happened in 1880. This was due to a misprint in the newspaper. The accurate article appeared in the Farmington Press on May 12, 1880 under the heading "The Cyclone Near Home:"

"On Friday morning last, between 5 and 6 o’clock, peculiar and ferocious clouds were seen from this quarter whirling through the western skies with a sort of gyrating motion. This carried a tunnel of wind along through portions of Lakeville Township, Rosemount and Ravena, carrying away sheds, moving barns and demolishing fences in a strip about a mile in width. ……. But the principal disaster was that of the Catholic Church near Rosemount. This building, with ceiling of twenty feet, some 30 by 80 feet on the ground and a large belfry, was tumbled in as if it were but a mass of straw, the sidewalls instantly falling, and the bell tower and roof whirled off in a few seconds. The whole soon resembled little but a mass of splinters, scattered for many miles away."

Another account says that parts of the church were found a quarter of a mile away and that the bell, with its frame weighing nearly 1200 pounds, was found 150 feet away from the church.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson

1881–1882

After St. Joseph’s first church building in Lakeville was destroyed in 1880, the Temperance Hall was fitted out and used as a temporary church. As terrible as the loss was, the building’s future was probably in jeopardy anyway. It is certain that a new church would have been built in Rosemount Village when funds were available. The location had been inconvenient for many, the building was too big to move, and probably would have been difficult to sell. Insurance money would certainly have helped pay for a new church.

Under the direction of Fr. Quinn the second church of St. Joseph was built on parish property just north of the rectory. The new frame church was dedicated on November 13, 1881.

The three-acre site of the first church was sold back to Tom Hyland for $2. All that remained was the original St. Joseph’s Cemetery, which slowly fell into disuse and even its name was lost. It eventually became known as Highland Cemetery.

After serving as St. Joseph’s pastor for almost four years, Fr. Michael Quinn was reassigned to Watertown, MN on May 10, 1882. The parish remained without a pastor until August 18, 1882 when Fr. Claude Genis was named pastor. He was pastor only until November 15th when he exchanged pastorships with Fr. Arthur Hurley and returned to St. Augustine’s Parish in Austin, MN.

Being an Irishman, Fr. Hurley was an excellent fit for his new assignment in Rosemount. He was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1840, studied for the priesthood in Ireland and France and was ordained on June 24, 1870 at All Hallows College in Dublin. Having previously been recruited by the St. Paul Diocese, he sailed from Queenstown, Ireland arriving in New York City on August 23 1870.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1882–1886

After arriving in St. Paul in 1870, Father Arthur Hurley was assigned by Bishop Thomas Grace to establish two new parishes. He took up residence in Litchfield, MN and in 1871 built a rectory there and said Mass in one of the rectory rooms. That same year, he also began holding services in Willmar, MN and began St. Mary’s Church.

After a number of transfers he was assigned in November of 1882 to St. Joseph’s, becoming its fifth pastor. He also had charge of All Saint’s in Lakeville until 1885 and St. Michael’s Mission Church until about 1891. .

On September 11, 1884, Father John Ireland became Bishop of the St. Paul Diocese. Two weeks later on September 30th, St. Joseph’s Parish was incorporated as part of the St. Paul Diocese.

On February 27, 1885, Bishop Thomas L. Grace transferred the property title containing the Church and rectory to the Church of St. Joseph, a Minnesota Corporation.

During this time, the Temperance Hall was a meeting place for the St. Joseph’s Abstinence Society and was also used for community gatherings, political speeches, entertainment programs and parish social functions.

On the morning of August 8, 1885, during a thunderstorm, the church steeple was struck by lightning causing $500 of damage..

Funeral processions from the new church to the cemetery in Lakeville, which had been right across the street from the first church, became difficult, particularly during the winter. In 1886, parishioner Mary Derham decided to do something about this and on September 9th she and her husband Hugh donated a portion of land they owned near the new church for a new cemetery. They sold four acres to the parish for five dollars. Parishioner Andrew Keegan laid out and surveyed the new cemetery in December and internments began the following year.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1886–1892

After the establishment of the new St. Joseph’s Cemetery, internments at the old cemetery in Lakeville became less frequent. Having two cemeteries both named St. Joseph’s became confusing and the old cemetery began being referred to as the Lakeville Cemetery and later Highland Cemetery. The Highland name came from the Irish tradition of placing cemeteries on the highest ground in the area. The Highland name was also a play on words since the land had originally been owned by the Thomas Hyland family.

On July 11, 1887 the St. Joseph’s Total Abstinence Society sold the Temperance Hall to the parish for $65. The Society continued to use the hall for meetings but the parish now had control for parish functions.

The Diocese of St. Paul was elevated to an Archdiocese on May 15, 1888 and Bishop John Ireland became its first Archbishop.

The first recorded parish festival was held in the parish’s Temperance Hall on September 15, 1888 and realized over $100.

In February 1889, Pastor Anthony Hurley embarked on a trip to Rome and the Holy Land. He returned by way of Ireland where he picked up twelve-year-old John Geraghty, the son of parishioner John C. Geraghty. He arrived back to Rosemount on July 5th. During his absence the parish was without a pastor. Various local priests filled in when necessary.

Fr. Hurley, age 53, became very ill in January 1890 and went to St. Paul for care. Again in March of 1892, he was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and remained until early April. At some point in 1890 or 1891, Fr. Hurley’s duties as St. Michael’s Mission in Farmington were reassigned.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1893–1897

During the first week of February 1893, a new bell was installed in the church steeple. The beginning of March found Father Hurley again seriously ill for the third time in four years and he was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he remained for a month.

In January 1896, Father Hurley was again back in St. Joseph’s Hospital. Almost certainly due to his decline, sometime in 1896, an assistant priest, Father Michael Cowley was assigned to St. Joseph’s.

On March 16, 1896, St. Joseph’s Parish was incorporated, as were all parishes in the Archdiocese. Each parish became a separate legal entity from the Archdiocese.

Father Hurley died on July 24, 1897 at the age of sixty. His death was attributed to lung trouble. He had been pastor for almost 15 years and was much esteemed by the community. Archbishop John Ireland and 56 priests were among those attending his Funeral Mass and his burial in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

Father Cowley became temporary pastor until the end of September. He was another native of Ireland but little is known of his history prior to being assigned to Rosemount.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson

1897–1898

On August 1, 1897, the Reverend Hugh MacDevitt was named pastor to St. Joseph’s Parish. Father Michael Cowley, who had assisted Father Hurley during the last months of his life, exchanged places with Father MacDevitt and became the pastor at The Church of Our Lady, at Manannah, Minnesota. Father Cowley remained in Rosemount as interim pastor until the end of September.

St. Joseph’s sixth pastor, Father MacDevitt was born in Raphoe, County Donegal, Ireland on Feb. 3, 1840. He studied for the priesthood in Ireland and was ordained at All Hollows College in Dublin on June 27, 1865. He came to the St. Paul Diocese in November of 1878. He had a number of assignments throughout Minnesota until coming to Rosemount in the fall of 1897.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day 1898, the parish planned an evening entertainment to be given in the Temperance Hall. The proceeds from the event were to be used to make repairs to the Temperance Hall and put it in shape for the A. O. H. [The Ancient Order of Hibernians].

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish Catholic fraternal organization which is still active. Members must be Catholic and either Irish-born or of Irish descent. It was founded in New York City in 1836. Its purpose is to protect the Catholic Church from discrimination and to assist Irish Catholic immigrants. Its female auxiliary, the Daughters of Erin, was formed in 1894, and grew quickly. By 1897 the Daughters of Erin had 20,000 members. Both the A. O. H. and D. O. E. were very active in Rosemount and held regular meetings twice a month. While not directly connected to St. Joseph’s Parish, the local Hibernian members were virtually all parishioners.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1899–1902

In November 1899, the parish added to St. Joseph’s cemetery by purchasing 3.3 acres of land from members of the Callahan family. This property was on the west side of the existing cemetery and extended it out to what is now South Robert Trail [Highway 3]. This addition almost doubled the size of the cemetery.

On Sunday, Dec 10, 1899, Bishop McGolrick of Duluth confirmed a class of about 75 children. Father Quinn also came from Lakeville to assist at the confirmation exercises.

Newly ordained Father Cornelius McDevitt celebrated his first public Mass at St. Joseph’s Church on Sunday, December 9, 1900. Several priests came to Rosemount to assist him at the High Mass. Cornelius McDevitt was born in County Donegal, Ireland in 1870 and immigrated to America about 1888. He attended the College of St. Thomas and the St. Paul Seminary. Father Cornelius McDevitt was almost certainly related to St. Joseph’s pastor Father Hugh MacDevitt who was also a native of County Donegal, Ireland.

For some reason lost to history the church bell installed in 1893 needed to be replaced. The new bell was cast in 1901 for St. Joseph’s Church by the McShane Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland. This bell was later moved to the new church in 1924 and used until 1958 when a crack was found that could not be repaired.

In January of 1902, Henry Hagemeister purchased a tract of land containing a little over nine acres from Hugh Derham. The property was located on the north side of St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Six months later Mr. Hagemeister agreed to sell a small section of the property adjacent to the cemetery to St. Joseph’s Church for $40. This small piece of property was the second addition made to the cemetery grounds.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson

1902–1904

During a storm on September 5, 1902, St. Joseph’s church steeple was struck by lightning. Damages were estimated at $200. Over a year would pass before repairs were undertaken to repair the damage. St. Joseph’s pastor, Father Hugh MacDevitt, went to St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul on October 13th for medical treatment. He had been ailing for some time. He remained in St. Paul for at least two weeks.

At some point during his pastorate Father MacDevitt had a partial basement put under the church and the heating system was enlarged by the addition of a second furnace. It appears some of the parishioners felt the upgraded system was not being used to its full potential. The following complaint was aired in the Dakota County Tribune on November 20, 1903. "Wood is a scarce article here this fall. Most everyone here is now using coal for fuel, and by the way it felt in church last Sunday, one would think there was no wood or coal in the state. There's no excuse for the trustees to allow the church to be in such condition as there is lots of fuel. It is hoped they will pay more attention to the heating of the church in the future."

Father Hugh MacDevitt’s health remained poor in March. He had an attack of acute bronchitis several months previously and had again been hospitalized in St. Paul. He returned to Rosemount on March 1, 1904 much improved but still too ill to resume his pastorate. On the advice of his doctor, he left for Pasadena, California on March 17th for several weeks of recuperation. Due to his health issues, Father MacDevitt was relieved as pastor at St. Joseph’s. His replacement was Father Terence Moore who took up his duties beginning Sunday March 6th. Father Moore became St. Joseph’s seventh pastor.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1904–1905

Terence Moore was born July 20, 1871 at Finea, County Westmeath, Ireland. He came to America after being recruited by the St. Paul Diocese. Terence Moore was a 19-year-old seminarian when he landed at New York on October 25, 1890. After his ordination in St. Paul on October 2, 1892, he served as a professor at St. Thomas College in St. Paul until his assignment at St. Joseph’s in March 1904.

Soon after his arrival at St. Joseph’s, Fr. Moore began making plans to replace the old rectory which had been built in 1878. By early October, the basement for the house was nearly completed. The new rectory was built between the old rectory and the church. The structure contained 10 rooms and was used until 1969.

A card party was held in the parish hall on Friday evening September 30th for the benefit of the church. The ladies were expected to bring the food, and coffee was served in the hall. The party was a success and proceeds for the evening were about $65.

On December 14th and 15th a bazaar was held for the benefit of St. Joseph’s Church to raise funds to help pay for the new rectory. It was noted that many people from outside the parish helped to make the event a success. Many of the prizes were donated which helped to make the bazaar such a success. About $1200 was raised.

At the end of April, 1905, Fr. Moore moved into the new rectory. The old rectory remained on the parish property. It was rented out until it was sold in 1912 and was moved a mile north to the Tracy farm.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1906–1909

On Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, 1906 about 3:30 PM, St. Joseph's church was being prepared for Christmas services. Suddenly, the floor and matting caught fire at one of the radiators. It was from the heat of the furnace and caused much excitement for a few moments. There were quite a number of people present and they kept the fire down by using the matting until it was put out by a few pails of water and hand-held fire extinguishers. The damage was minor and it was hoped the janitor would look after firing the furnace more carefully in the future.

Parishioner James Tierney died on January 15, 1907 at the age of 84 years. When James died he left an estate worth about $50,000. Among his public bequests was $1000 to the new Cathedral in St. Paul and $10,000 to aid in building a new Catholic Church in Rosemount.

The parish was very busy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in 1909. Fr. Terence Moore undertook production of the play "Uncle Rube" for the benefit of the Parish. He added vocal and musical selections to the four act comedy.
reduced to $15. A grand total of 25 votes had been cast in the election: 25 yes, 0 no.

In July of 1909, a dispute arose between the Village of Rosemount and St. Joseph’s Parish. The village had rented the Temperance Hall the previous October during construction of a new village hall. The Temperance Hall was used as the polling place for a vote on reincorporating the village. St. Joseph’s billed the village $25. The village council refused to pay that amount and began effort to get the bill reduced. In October, the bill was paid after being reduced to $15. A grand total of 25 votes had been cast in the election: 25 yes, 0 .

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1910

In August of 1910, Pastor Terence Moore received word of his transfer to St. Mary’s Church at Waverly, Minnesota. His successor at St. Joseph’s was to be Fr. Laurence Cosgrove.

Fr. Moore had been at St. Joseph’s for just over six years, and the high esteem in which he was held by the parish can be measured by the parting gifts he received. The parishioners presented him with $1800 in gold. He was also given a vestment and $100 by the Rosary Society, an alligator suitcase by the Young Ladies’ Sodality, a missal and set of breviaries by the altar boys and cadets, a gold watch by the Hibernians and a walnut bookcase by the Hibernian Ladies’ Auxiliary. The Holy Name Society also presented him with a substantial gift. Chalices and other gifts were given by individuals.

By Sunday, August 14th, Fr. Cosgrove had arrived in Rosemount and held his first services. He became the eighth pastor at St. Joseph’s Church. Laurence Cosgrove was born in County Longford, Ireland in December of 1861. In June 1887, he was ordained in Dublin, Ireland and soon afterwards came to St. Paul. .

On Christmas Eve, a fire broke out in the dry goods store owned by J. F. Geraghty and J. J. Hynes. The Village of Rosemount was crowded that evening with farm families in town to make their traditional Christmas Confession. Many of them rallied to help by carrying out as much merchandise as possible and taking it to the nearby Temperance Hall, thus saving much of the store’s stock.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1911

After the fire on Christmas Eve 1910 at the dry goods store, James F. Geraghty and Joseph J. Hynes decided to end their business partnership. J. F. Geraghty kept the dry goods business and rebuilt the store. On January 5, 1911, J. J. Hynes purchased the Temperance Hall from St. Joseph's Parish and moved the building one block south and to the east side of the street. Built by the St. Joseph’s Temperance Society, the building had served the parish well for 35 years. Among its many uses, it had served as a temporary church when the original church was destroyed by a tornado in 1880 and as a district schoolhouse in the late 1880s. J. J. Hynes owned the grain elevator in Rosemount and after purchasing the building he used it for the retail end of his seed and grain business. He added a Reo auto dealership the following year. The building later became a post office with two jail cells. It last held Jean’s Beauty and Barber Shop before being razed in 1980.

When he came to St. Joseph’s, Fr. Laurence Cosgrove brought the great zeal, energy and foresight for which he had become somewhat of a legend at his former parish. Within the first year of his pastorate he sold the Temperance Hall, and, with the cooperation of the parish, he replaced the parish trustees. He then began a program of updating the church fixtures. Among the larger projects in 1911 was the replacement of the Stations of the Cross. Fr. Cosgrove conducted a special campaign to raise $730 for the Gothic style Stations.

Fr. Cosgrove attempted to raise funds to replace the 30-year-old church and even sold the horse and buggy owned by the parish to raise money, but his efforts were unsuccessful. He added property to the parish grounds and cemetery, and, in 1912, wrote and published "A History of St. Joseph's Parish.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1912

Fr. Cosgrove had a special affinity for Stations of the Cross devotions. With his own funds, he purchased three sets of Gothic stations that were cast in concrete. Two sets were placed in the St. Joseph and Highland Cemeteries. They were set in a semi-circle with a stone dedication monument placed in the center. Fr. Cosgrove had the third set shipped to his native town of Ballinamuck, County Longford, Ireland for placement in Tubberpatrick Cemetery. His brother Michael transported the heavy sculptures from the railway station to the cemetery by means of a horse and cart. The stations in the St. Joseph and Highland Cemeteries disappeared long ago. The stations in Tubberpatrick Cemetery have survived but were badly deteriorated until 2013 when they were painstakingly restored by a local group. That group was nominated for a national community-based award.

The old rectory, built in 1878 and used as a rental property since the completion of the new rectory in 1905, was sold on March 5, 1912. The building was moved to the Edward D. Tracy farm about one mile north of the church on Old Dodd Road. Using lanterns on the four corners, it took three nights to move the structure. The Daley family sold the property to the Kelly Trust in 1988. The house was razed in June 1998 as part of the Evermore Housing Development.

After the Temperance Hall and old rectory were sold and moved, Fr. Cosgrove encouraged the organization of a parish Park Board. They built a park and playground on the two vacant lots south of the rectory. The park was formally dedicated on July 28, 1912. Twelve names were proposed for the park, the one selected was Cosgrove Park. Besides new trees and a large set of swings, the park included a conservatory, winter garden, skating rink and heating system for winter sports.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1913-1916

Many new items were purchased or replaced during the first two years of Fr. Cosgrave’s pastorate. New statues of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. Patrick were bought, and the statue of the Sacred Heart was retouched and set on a new pedestal. Two new marble Holy Water Fonts and a cut glass Sanctuary Lamp in "sparkling pendants" were purchased. A set of White Vestments made of water silk with gold trim worth $500 were just some of the new items listed for the church.

A list of parish societies active during this period were: Ancient Order of Hibernians, Auxiliary to the A. O. H., Knights of Columbus, Holy Rosary Society, Ladies Catholic Order of Foresters, Holy Name Sodality, St. Theresa Sodality and the St. Joseph Cadets.

On June 14, 1915, a third addition was made to St. Joseph’s Cemetery. The parish paid $500 to Thomas and Margaret Conley and Thomas and Helen Feely for about 3 acres on the northwest side of the cemetery. The cemetery grounds were now over 10 acres.

On May 22, 1916, St. Joseph’s Parish purchased the vacant lot on the south side of Cosgrove Park from Michael and Margaret Murnane for $250. The lot added 55 feet to the parish frontage.

On August 14, 1916, after serving at St. Joseph’s for exactly six years, Fr. Laurence Cosgrove exchanged assignments with Fr. William Dobbin from the Church of St. John at Darwin, Minnesota. When Fr. Dobbin arrived in Rosemount, he became St. Joseph’s ninth pastor.

William Dobbin was born in Rhode Island on April 6, 1870, the eldest child of Irish immigrants. The family moved to Massachusetts soon after his birth. William’s mother died and his father remarried in 1883. By 1885 the family moved to Minneapolis. Fr. Dobbin was ordained on May 27, 1899. His first assignment was assistant pastor at the Church of St. John in St. Paul.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1917-1918

Fr. William Dobbin was officially here for two years, but due to his serious illness, Fr. William Luby came to assist him by September of 1917. Fr. Luby was born April 23, 1875 in Bloomington, Illinois to Irish immigrant parents. He was ordained in St. Paul on June 9, 1911. His first assignment was as an assistant at St. Anthony’s Church in Minneapolis.

In February of 1914 he was sent to St. Dominic’s in Northfield. While "officially" an assistant at St. Dominic’s, he actually spent a year at St. Joseph’s replacing the ailing Fr. Dobbin.

Fr. Luby’s position at St. Joseph’s is unclear. His obituary in the Catholic Bulletin makes no mention of his time in Rosemount, stating he was an assistant at Northfield until September of 1918. His obituary in The Elysian Enterprise lists him as a former pastor at Rosemount. What is certain is that Fr. Luby was here working as an interim pastor even if it was not officially recognized.

Due to his continued poor health, Fr. Dobbin resigned his pastorate in Rosemount on August 20, 1918. He exchanged parishes with Fr. Lawrence Carey, pastor at the Church of St. Thomas in Derrynane Township, Le Sueur County.

After Fr. Dobbin’s resignation, Fr. Luby went to Minneapolis where he conducted missions until December, working out of St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1918-1923

In September 1918, Fr. Lawrence Carey arrived in Rosemount, becoming St. Joseph’s tenth pastor. Lawrence Carey was born December 23, 1870 in Ballynagun, County Clair, Ireland. He attended the Christian Brothers College in County Clair and immigrated to America in 1891. He attended St. Thomas College and the St. Paul Seminary. After his ordination on June 4, 1898 he became an assistant at St. James Church in St. Paul for a short time.

On October 24th, a 1/3 acre parcel of land was purchased from Henry Hagemiester for $1 and added to St. Joseph’s Cemetery.In 1922, St. Joseph’s Catholic Ladies Aid Society was organized. It became one of the most active groups in the parish and organized many functions to raise funds for the parish.

The biggest fundraiser for the year planned by the St. Joseph’s Ladies Aid Society was a grand bazaar and supper held on the evening of Tuesday, November 21st. Fifteen prizes donated by businessmen and members of the church were given away. The drawing raised $156.56. A report on December 1, 1922 stated the bazaar proceeds of $1067.58 were to go towards the funds set aside for a new church. The article stated the fund now contained about $35,000 and it was expected that a new church would be built in the near future.

On January 28, 1923, Fr. Carey called a meeting for the purpose of making a decision about building a new church. Most were in favor and voted a building committee of ten men and ten women be appointed by Fr. Carey to help him get the project going.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1922-1924

On August 23, 1922, the Dakota County Tribune reported that "Fr. Carey is busy soliciting funds for the new $65,000 church to be built next spring. He informs us that he is meeting with good success."

The firm of Seifer & Abrahamson of St. Paul was hired to design St. Joseph’s new church. The plan was for a Gothic style church with a brick exterior with Kasota rock at the base. In February, twelve bids were re-ceived to build a new church. All were considered too high. The building committee decided to change the specifications slightly and called for new bids from the four lowest bidders.

On March 14th, it was announced in the newspaper that the general contract for the new church was awarded to Tapager Construction Com-pany of Albert Lea for $61,972. Other companies were awarded contracts for heating, plumbing, electrical work and interior furnishings. Including architect costs, the total estimate was $81,669. The building committee rejected the only bid received for the sale of the old church. They then decided to continue to use the old church until the new church was com-pleted. Excavations for the new church began on April 15, 1924. The new church was built just a few feet to the north of the old church.

On Sunday June 22, 1924 more than 3000 persons attended the lay-ing of the cornerstone of the new church. Archbishop Austin Dowling, along with several priests, presided over an impressive ceremony. A tem-porary cross placed in the sanctuary area was also blessed. During his speech, the Archbishop congratulated the parish on achieving what they had so long looked for. After the ceremony, the ladies of the parish served supper to 650 people, and, had a storm not interfered, they were prepared to serve 600 more.

Work on the church was delayed when interior lumber was not de-livered in October. Although the church was still unfinished, men from the parish volunteered to help lay the floor on the afternoon of December 24th. As a result Father Carey was able to offer the first Mass in the new church at midnight of Christmas Eve, 1924.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1925

At an auction held December 31, 1924, local contractor and parishioner, Edward McDonald, bought the old church for $300, not including the pews. He tore down the building and salvaged the lumber. Furnaces and carpeting sold for an additional $81.50.

One item retained from the old church was the bell cast in 1901 by the McShane Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland. On Wednesday, January 14th, Fr. Lawrence Carey gave a Silver Tea at the rectory. He extended an invitation to all to come. At that time, Silver Teas were often given for special fund-raising or charitable purposes. Certainly it was given in this case to help pay for the new church. The teas could often be quite fancy. People would wear their finest attire and drop their donations on a silver tray or into a silver bowl. The food could also be quite fancy, including sandwiches, scones, sweets, and tea.

At 10 am on Monday, May 25th, the new St. Joseph’s church was dedicated by Most Rev. Archbishop Austin Dowling. He was assisted by 50 priests. The solemn ceremony began with the blessing by the Archbishop of the exterior of the church, while Psalms were chanted by the clergy. No one was allowed inside the church beforehand. The doors were then opened and the Archbishop entered, followed by the clergy and laity. The interior was likewise blessed, followed by the consecration of the new marble altar. Solemn High mass was then offered by the Rev. John Doherty of St. Paul. The sermon was preached by the Most. Rev. Archbishop.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1925-1929

The new altar, which cost $1500, was the gift of the parishioners. It was imported from Italy and made of the best Italian Botticino marble. Work on the interior of the new church continued well into 1925. Funds to pay for the church came partly from the James Tierney Trust established for that purpose after his death in 1907. His bequest of $10,000 had increased to $18,733 by June of 1924. Over the years, additional funds of over $14,540 had been raised for the purpose. Recent fund raising drives raised additional money. Finally, a $30,000 five year loan at 5% was given to the parish.

One feature of the new church was the Winter Chapel constructed on the south side of the sanctuary. The chapel contained an altar and a small number of pews where daily Mass was held. During the winter, the main part of the church was heated only for Sunday Mass and special services such as weddings and funerals. This practice continued for many years. Eventually the altar was removed and pews turned around to create a ‘crying room’ for families with small children.

On Sunday, June 16, 1929, the newly ordained Fr. James Joseph Furey celebrated his first Holy Mass at St. Joseph’s church. Fr. Furey had been ordained the previous week on Sunday, June 9th in St. Paul by Archbishop Austin Dowling. Fr. Furey was the son of the late John and Mary Furey. He was born in Eagan in August 1901 and attended St. Patrick’s church as a boy. After St. Patrick’s Church was destroyed by fire in 1919, his family was among those who joined St. Joseph’s. James was attending Cretin High School in St. Paul by that time. When his oldest brother, Patrick, died while attending the seminary in 1920, it strengthened James’ resolve to follow in his brother’s footsteps.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1930-1938

In September of 1930, Fr. Lawrence Carey had a new cross erected in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. The cross was molded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The corpus was made in Germany.

In 1932, Fr. Carey decided that the cemetery needed work and formulated plans to make the grounds more attractive. In early May, he organized a group of volunteers and, under his direction, many trees and shrubs were planted.
In mid-December of 1933, Fr. Carey became very ill and was hospitalized at St. Joseph’s hospital in St. Paul. He returned home on Thursday, January 9th. During his absence, Father E. M. Coughlin of St. Thomas College had charge of the parish.

In mid-October 1934, Fr. Carey was seriously injured in a fall and again found himself at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul for an extended period. During his absence, Fr. James Furey of St. Paul was put in charge of St. Joseph’s Church. Fr. Carey was finally able to return on December 22nd just in time for Christmas. Fr. Furey remained, assisting Fr. Carey until May of 1935.

After his ordination in 1929, Fr. James Furey was named Associate Pastor at St. Michael’s Church in West St. Paul. After a number of transfers over the years, in November of 1938 Fr. Furey was assigned to St. Joseph’s in Rosemount. Except for 14 months at St. Brendan’s Church in Green Isle in 1946-47, he would remain in Rosemount for the rest of his life.

During this time, the Ladies Aid Society held numerous events to raise funds for the church. They included dinners, bake sales, ice cream socials, and a series of card parties. The parish held an annual bazaar. A chicken supper was served beginning at 5:30 p.m. until everyone was served. The dinner was priced at 50 cents a plate for adults and 25 cents for children.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1938-1940

In late December of 1937 Fr. Lawrence Carey became very ill with pleurisy and was bedridden for almost a month. Fr. Thomas F. Nolan from Hastings helped fill in. Fr. Carey was well enough to say Mass for the first time in the church on Ash Wednesday, March 2.

On November 3, 1938 Fr. James J. Furey was named Associate Pastor to Fr. Carey. Nine years after his ordination, Fr. Furey was returning to his home parish. Geraghty’s Hall, where many parish events were held, ceased to exist in March 1939. Owner, Hubert Geraghty, had the second story of his building, which had housed the Hall, remodeled into six small apartments and four office suites.

In early October 1939, Fr. Carey was ill again and went to St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul for treatment. He spent a month there and returned home on November 6.  The loss of Geraghty’s Hall as a place to hold public gatherings posed a problem for local organizations. One of them was the St. Mary’s Guild. Founded as the Ladies Aid in 1922, it had helped raise money to build the new church in 1924. In December of 1938, the name had been changed to St. Mary’s Guild, and it had become very popular for its card parties. In 1940 the St. Mary’s Guild was divided into groups with each group being responsible to organize and host various fundraisers. Many of these events, such as the card parties, were now held in homes with up to 80 people attending.

In March, Louis Bernier began remodeling the second floor of his building above Zimmerman’s general store for use as a hall for public gatherings. St. Mary’s Guild Group #1 held a card party there in October. The ladies of the St. Mary’s Guild presented Father Carey with a new RCA radio for his 70th birthday on December 23, 1940.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1941-1942

Parish bazaars were not held in 1939 or 1940 due to the closing of Geraghty’s Hall. A special "Bazaar Collection" replaced the lost revenue. In 1941 the final mortgage payment was made on the church building. The St. Mary’s Guild raised $896 that year from which they gave $530 towards the final payment on the mortgage.

At a parish council meeting held on October 18, it was decided to add decorations to the church that had been left undone since its construction in 1924. The work took six weeks and cost $2,127.00. To pay for it, a special Bazaar Collection Assessment was levied on each parish family according to their ability to afford it.

In February 1941, the Annual Financial Report was published. Total parish receipts for the year were $6,939. Pew rent was by far the largest income source at $3,449, followed by the adult Sunday envelope collection at $1,975. Expenses for the year were $6,780. Not included in the total was the $2,187 collected by the special assessment to pay for the decoration work on the church.
In January 1942, Miss Katherine Brazil became seriously ill and retired after serving Fr. Carey for 42 years as his housekeeper. In early February, Miss Isabelle Sampson of Mahtomedi, Minnesota was hired and moved into the rectory as the new housekeeper.

On March 31, the Federal government announced to the affected landowners in townships of Rosemount and Empire that 11,500 acres was to be taken by eminent domain for a huge ordnance facility. Over 80 families were affected for this war effort. Some were given just six weeks to vacate their farms and all had to be off their property by June 1. Many of these families were members of St. Joseph’s parish.

In August the Sunday Mass schedule was changed and a third Mass was added. This was done to accommodate the huge number of construction workers and their families who moved into the area during construction of the Gopher Ordnance Munitions Plant.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1943-1946

Beginning in 1943, card parties were all held in a Recreation Hall built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1942. As usual they were held on weekday evenings and a late lunch was served. Admission was 35 cents and the door prizes were often donated by Rosemount businesses owned by parishioners. Noted among the donors of door prizes in February were the trailer ladies. They were women living in the trailer park set up in the Village of Rosemount to house the families of construction workers at the Gopher Ordnance Plant. The trailer park was located behind the businesses and new Recreation Hall on the west side of highway 3 and fronting on Cameo Ave. and 147th Street.

Unfortunately during the war a number of Memorial Masses were said for Rosemount boys that were killed. In anticipation of the end of the war in Europe, Rosemount Mayor Leo J. Fluegel proclaimed VE Day would be a day of prayer and thanksgiving and requested all places of business to close on that day. VE Day came on Tuesday, May 8, 1945. All businesses closed and Rosemount School held a special assembly at 11:30 a.m. After this, a majority of the students attended special services held at either St. John’s Lutheran or St. Joseph’s Catholic churches at 3 p.m.

In June 1946, St. Joseph’s parish began catechism classes for children during the summer school break. The classes were held in the Rosemount High School building daily for several weeks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and were taught by nuns from St. Paul and Minneapolis.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1946-1947

In 1946 the St. Mary’s Guild was reorganized as the St. Joseph’s Rosary Society. After spending eight years in his home parish as assistant pastor, Fr. James Furey was named pastor of St. Brendan's Church at Green Isle, Minnesota in early August.

Fr. Carey’s new assistant pastor was the newly ordained Fr. William C. McNulty. He was ordained on June 8, 1946. Born on June 26, 1921, he was the son of William and Marie McNulty of St. Paul. Fr. McNulty remained here only one month before being replaced by Fr. Emmett Cashman on September 12, 1946. He was born on July 25, 1914 the son of Henry S. and Margaret Cashman and was ordained on May 31, 1941. His first assignment was for 3 months as assistant at St. Olaf Church in Minneapolis. Fr. Cashman remained at St. Joseph’s until September 24, 1947, when he became an assistant at St. Andrews in St. Paul.

On October 3, Fr. Furey returned to St. Joseph’s as parish administrator after serving as pastor for a little over a year at St. Brendan's at Green Isle. Fr. Carey was almost 77 years old, and he needed help with the administrative duties of the parish.

After having had only one internment in 15 years in the old Highland Cemetery, two took place in October of 1947. One funeral was from St. Michael’s of Farmington and the other from All Saints of Lakeville. When Fr. Furey later learned of them, he declared the cemetery closed to future internments.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1948-1952

Fr. Lawrence Carey celebrated his Golden Jubilee Mass at St. Joseph’s on Thursday morning, May 27, 1948. Archbishop John G. Murray and three of Fr. Carey’s classmates were present.

In August 1949, the parish purchased the Geraghty house which was just to the north of the church. The house was to be used for parish meetings and as a convent for nuns who came to Rosemount to conduct religion classes during the summer months.

In January 1950, the parish sold part of its property on the south boundary to Joseph E. Corcoran. The following month the vacant lot on the north side of the church between it and the Geraghty house was purchased for $750.

In 1951, under the leadership of Parish Administrator Fr. James Furey, plans for a parish grade school were being seriously considered. On January 28, 1952, at the urging of Fr. Furey and other concerned parishioners, the St. Joseph's Building Committee decided to proceed with plans to build a Catholic School. This decision was made even though no religious order had agreed to staff the school. After several months of fruitless inquiries, Fr. Furey announced that he was leaving on a trip to visit religious orders in person and vowed not to return until he had found some sisters to staff the school. He told the parish to pray hard for his success and public prayers were offered while he was away. The parish’s prayers were answered on June 3rd when the Sisters of St. Agnes agreed to staff the school.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1952

Archbishop John G. Murray performed the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Joseph’s on Sunday, June 22, 1952. Later that day he presided over the ground breaking for the new school building before a throng of parishioners, priests and friends. Actual construction of the school began on August 27th.

The new building was planned to house school and social facilities: four classrooms to serve grades one through six; an auditorium having a stage for school activities, church dinners and social gatherings; a modern, well-equipped kitchen for school hot lunches and large church dinners; a social meeting room connected to the auditorium and kitchen, also used for school lunches; and a principal’s office, nurse’s office and music room.

A new boiler was installed in the church basement which provided heat and utility service to the school building. The building was designed to easily add a second story to the classroom portion of the building in the future. Many members of the parish helped out with interior finishing to help keep the cost of the building down. The final cost was expected to be about $150,000.

The October 4th edition of the Catholic Bulletin announced newassignments for both Fr. Lawrence Carey and Fr. James Furey, effective on October 1st. Fr. Carey was appointed chaplain to St. Mary's Hospital in Minneapolis, and Fr. Furey was named pastor to St. Joseph’s. An aged and mentally failing Fr. Carey soon proved unable to carry out his duties and continued to live at the rectory under the care of Fr. Furey.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1953-1954

By May, 1953, work was almost complete on the new school. On Thursday, May 7th, the Rosary Society held their first noon luncheon in the social room of the almost-completed school building. This was fol-lowed two weeks later by a ham dinner served on Sunday, May 24th, also in the new social room. On June 10th, a large crowd was present when the corner stone of the school was laid with proper ceremony. On Friday evening, June 12th, a group of young men and women from the parish presented the 3-act play, The Bargain Bride, in the first use of the new auditorium.

On Sunday, September 6th, Bishop James J. Byrne blessed the Sister’s convent and dedicated St. Joseph’s Catholic School, which was to be known as the Father Carey Memorial Building. Besides the bishop, forty priests, twenty sisters, and 600 people attended the impressive ceremony.

Classes began on September 8th, with 124 students enrolled. Sister M. Magdalene, Sister M. Eva, Sister Mary Richard and Sister M. Lorraine were the first teachers in the building’s four classrooms.  The St. Joseph’s Fall Festival and Turkey Dinner took place on Sun-day, October 25th.  On June 6, 1954, Fr. Furey celebrated his Silver (25th) Jubilee. On December 18, Fr. Lawrence Carey died. He was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1956-1960

On September 23, 1956, Fr. John Roach of St. Thomas Academy (later to become a bishop) offered a special Mass at St. Joseph’s. Accord-ing to the Dakota County Tribune at that time, it was to celebrate the centennial of the first Mass offered in the Rosemount Territory. The article said that early in the spring of 1856, Fr. Felix Tissot, a missionary priest, arrived by horseback in Rosemount and offered this first Mass to be held in the area in the home of John Murphy.

It was later discovered through extensive research of Archdio-cesesan records that the first Mass was actually offered in 1858. In 1881, a Rev. Neil published a book about the history of Dakota County. His source of much of the information contained in the book came from interviewing early settlers who recalled earlier events, sometimes in error. Since records show that Fr. Tissot was not ordained until 1858, that first mass in the Rosemount area took place later in that year.

On January 1, 1957, a parish meeting was held, and a decision was made to enlarge the school. Construction of the addition was started on May 1st, with the final cost being $113.000. The new addition was dedicated on October 11 at a 7:30 pm Mass celebrated by Archbishop Brady. The addition included a second story with six classrooms, a library, principal’s office, lounge, cafeteria en-largement and storeroom, and new lavatories. A year later, In October 1958, the church interior was redecorated and repainted.

One item retained from the second church was the bell. It was moved to the new church building in 1924. That bell had been cast in 1901 by the McShane Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland. The bell was used until 1958 when a crack was found that could not be repaired. On Sep-tember 18, 1959, Schumerlick Carillion Bells were installed.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1961-1969

In June 1963, Fr. Ronald Dalheimer was appointed assistant to Fr. Furey. He remained until fall of 1970. The Knights of Columbus Council #5569 was chartered on May 18, 1964 as the Fr. Carey Council.

In September 1964, construction began on the new convent on two lots purchased by the parish and was completed on April 30, 1965. The old convent was then used for CCD classes, Sunday nursery classes, and AA meetings.

Mary, Mother of the Church was established on September 7, 1965, by Archbishop Leo Binz. Fr. Donald Burns was named founding Pastor. The church, built in 1970, began with 550 charter households. St. Joseph’s lost 200 families to the new "daughter" parish.

On March 30, 1966, eight stained glass windows with beautiful symbols of prayer and the seven sacraments were added to the church. Fr. Furey, who had a close relationship with the St. Joseph’s school children, had encouraged them to donate their pennies to help pay for the windows.

On April 25, 1968, the first meeting of the newly formed Board of Education for St. Joseph's Parish was held. The parish then hired its first religious education coordinator, Mr. Ernest H. Forss, to organize the CCD and adult education classes.

Construction began on a new rectory on August 7, 1968. This third one sat on the site of the old church, just north of the existing rectory. It was completed in July of 1969. The old rectory, a 10 room house, was dismantled and the lumber sold to private parties.

In April of 1969 work began on remodeling the St. Lawrence Room in the church basement. The area was divided into two rooms to be used for CCD classes, meetings and a children's nursery. Fr. Furey was honored on June 15th celebrating his 40th Jubilee. The parish presented him with a trip to Jerusalem and Rome.

On August 12 construction of an addition to the church began consisting of a new sacristy and altar boys’ room, and a new north entrance to the church.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1970-1979

In July of 1970 carpeting was installed throughout the church for the first time.  That fall of 1970, the Church of the Risen Savior was established in Burnsville. Six hundred families from St. Joseph's parish who lived in the Apple Valley and Valley Park areas were assigned to the new church. Many of these families, however, refused to leave the parish, especially if they had children enrolled in the school. With the loss of so many families to the new church, Father Dahlheimer was reassigned to another parish. Weekend Mass help was promised to the parish by the Benedictine Fathers of St. John's University of Collegeville.

In July of 1973, Fr. Robert Dunn became pastor. He was accompanied by his brother, the Reverend John Dunn, who was in his care. Fr. John assisted by saying Mass and taking a special interest in the school children. Fr. Furey retired. He remained in Rosemount, living in an apartment.
In 1974, new heating and electrical systems were installed in the church. Redecorating included rearranging the Sanctuary. Total costs were $135,000. In November of 1974, restoration of the Highland Cemetery began. A small group of volunteers formed the Highland Cemetery Association to care for the cemetery.

St. John Neumann parish was formed in Eagan, and on July 9, 1977, 1,000 people attended the first Mass. It was celebrated by Fr. Robert C. Nygaard at the site of the old Eagan Post Office on Lexington and Lone Oak Road. On Christmas Eve, 300 attended Mass in a barn on a farm in Eagan. On July 8, 1978 Mass was held outside on the site of the current church location. The 15.5 acre-site had been purchased for $5,500 per acre. Mass continued to be held at the Post Office. In 1980, eight hundred attended the first Mass celebrated in the new church. It was consecrated on July 13, 1980 by Bishop John F. Kinney.

Parishioner Margaret Quigley moved to a nursing home in 1979 and sold her house and lot to the parish for $16,000. The property was located on the corner north of the school. The home was razed and the lot used for additional parking space. Several years before, the old convent had also been removed.

This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson.

1980-1989

The year 1981 started out badly when the church was broken into and the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament, 2 gold ciboria, and 5 silver communion plates were stolen. The tabernacle was chipped out of its marble casing.  Although not formally assigned to the parish, Fr. Roger Hermes helped maintain a full Sunday Mass schedule by coming to St. Joseph's fairly regularly in the early 1980s. He later filled in for Fr. Dunn for a time.

In August of 1984, due to the growing needs of the parish and Fr. Dunn's poor health, Mr. Paul Sargent was hired as parish administrator. On March 9, 1986, he resigned amid an embezzlement scandal.  Fr. Robert Dunn and his brother Fr. John left the parish on Nov 11, 1984, for health reasons. Temporary priests helped out for 1 month. On December 1, 1984 Fr. Frank Roach began duties as pastor. He was first cousin to Archbishop John Roach of the St. Paul Archdiocese.

In September of 1985, a teacher at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota, Fr. Dan Friberg, became a weekend assistant saying Mass. The Sisters of St. Agnes, who began teaching at the school in the early 1950s, left St. Josephs School on July 30, 1985.

On Oct 22, 1989, an announcement was made that another new parish, St. Thomas Becket, was being formed in Eagan. Services began on January 7, 1990, with Fr. Thomas Kommers as pastor. The church was built in 1993.
This article based on the research and writings of parishioner Gerald Mattson The first Mass at St. Thomas Becket in Eagan was held on Sunday, February 14, 1990. In 1989 there were 200 registered families at St. Joseph’s. That went down to 150 families in 1990.  A new Allen organ and Schulmerich Carillon Bells were dedicated February 25, 1990.

Fr. Daniel Friberg, who had been a weekend assistant with Fr. Francis Roach for 19 years (almost 8 years at St. Joseph), was appointed pastor at St. John the Baptist in Hugo on August 15, 1993. Shortly after this, Retired Reverend John Cody came regularly to offer weekend Mass at the parish. He is best remembered for his habit of giving his sermons while walking up and down the center aisle of the church and engaging parishioners, especially children, in his dialogue. Fr. Cody was in ill health during his last couple of years but still returned as often as he could until his death on March 26, 1998. He was 79 years old.

Beginning October 1, 1993, newly ordained Deacon Jerry Blissenbach began working part-time at the parish.A new Gathering Area was constructed between the church and the school connecting the two buildings in 1995. Also, land was purchased north of the cemetery for the potential of building a future new church building. This was later sold to a developer for townhouses.

Fr. Francis Roach retired the summer of 1997. A transition team was formed to get a new pastor. On September 2, Fr. Tom Hill, a Capuchin Franciscan, became pastor. In 1997, Fr. Vincent Colon began filling in for Fr. Cody during his absences for medical problems.

Also in 1997, Parishioner Ed Meier died and left his house and lot to St. Joseph's Parish. The property was located north of the parish center and it was his wish that the house be torn down and the property used for additional off-street parking. In January, 1999, St. Joseph’s began its relationship with Habitat for Humanity, helping build a house in Hastings. Gary Mitchell joined St. Joseph’s staff as the Parish Business Administrator.

1990-1999

The first Mass at St. Thomas Becket in Eagan was held on Sunday, February 14, 1990. In 1989 there were 200 registered families at St. Joseph’s. That went down to 150 families in 1990.  A new Allen organ and Schulmerich Carillon Bells were dedicated February 25, 1990.The first Mass at St. Thomas Becket in Eagan was held on Sunday, February 14, 1990. In 1989 there were 200 registered families at St. Joseph’s. That went down to 150 families in 1990.  A new Allen organ and Schulmerich Carillon Bells were dedicated February 25, 1990.

Fr. Daniel Friberg, who had been a weekend assistant with Fr. Francis Roach for 19 years (almost 8 years at St. Joseph), was appointed pastor at St. John the Baptist in Hugo on August 15, 1993. Shortly after this, Retired Reverend John Cody came regularly to offer weekend Mass at the parish. He is best remembered for his habit of giving his sermons while walking up and down the center aisle of the church and engaging parishioners, especially children, in his dialogue. Fr. Cody was in ill health during his last couple of years but still returned as often as he could until his death on March 26, 1998. He was 79 years old.

Beginning October 1, 1993, newly ordained Deacon Jerry Blissenbach began working part-time at the parish. A new Gathering Area was constructed between the church and the school connecting the two buildings in 1995. Also, land was purchased north of the cemetery for the potential of building a future new church building. This was later sold to a developer for townhouses.

Fr. Francis Roach retired the summer of 1997. A transition team was formed to get a new pastor. On September 2, Fr. Tom Hill, a Capuchin Franciscan, became pastor. In 1997, Fr. Vincent Colon began filling in for Fr. Cody during his absences for medical problems.

Also in 1997, Parishioner Ed Meier died and left his house and lot to St. Joseph's Parish. The property was located north of the parish center and it was his wish that the house be torn down and the property used for additional off-street parking. In January, 1999, St. Joseph’s began its relationship with Habitat for Humanity, helping build a house in Hastings.

Gary Mitchell joined St. Joseph’s staff as the Parish Business Administrator.

1999-2001

In February, 1999, St. Joseph’s formed a new committee called the Future Planning Committee. The purpose of the group was to identify the long term ministry needs of the parish. Then determine the current and long term facilities that were needed to accommodate the parish ministry. With the shortage of priests. no longer was it a solution to simply start a new parish, as had been done with Mary Mother, Risen Savior, St. John Neumann, and St. Thomas Becket.

In May, 1999, the Future Planning Committee, chaired by Craig Francois, selected BWBR Architects to conduct a needs assessment. The goal was "To build consensus on future needs of the Parish." Fr. Tom’s strong belief was in consensus building, rather than voting with winners and losers. During the summer and fall, meetings and surveys were held with all the parish committees. Parishioners could also respond with View From the Pew card questionnaires. Many parishioners did not want to leave the beautiful 1924 church.

Short term solutions, such as having an additional mass in the school gym at 10:30 were initiated. However Mass overcrowding wasn’t the only issue. The space issues being wrestling with were bigger than that. These included: appropriate facilities for the Faith Formation programs (Sr. Mary Louise had more than 75 teachers and 650 students in these programs), rooms for meetings, prayer groups, church and school activities, worship space, and parking space.

In October, 1999, Church Street Associates of Wisconsin was hired to conduct a financial feasibility study, do a mission review with the Pastoral Council, and work with the Stewardship Committee. The consensus of the committee in November on the need to build a new church presented three options: 1) Build a new church and school on the 11 acre site north of the cemetery. 2) Build a new church on the 11 acre site and retain the old church and school. 3) Purchase a new, larger site for both church and school. In early 2000, the decision to pursue the third option was made.

Fr. James Notebaart, a liturgical consultant, was hired to work with the Worship Committee, which was formed from the Future Planning Committee. Father’s first comment made during his interview for the position, was "The stained glass windows are worth saving and moving to a new church." In November, the Worship Committee was reorganized into the Building Committee with Ann Loch becoming chair.

During January – March of 2001 a projected budget, preliminary floor plans and cost comparisons with other churches were prepared and St. Joseph’s received the Diocesan’s approval for the purchase of land. In March, conceptual plans for the new Church were unveiled and approved at a regular meeting of the City of Rosemount Planning Commission.

In March, 2001, a Capital Campaign was kicked off with May 6th being Pledge Sunday. At least $1 million pledged was needed to secure the land. The Campaign was an outstanding success with $3,824,000 pledged.

Meetings were held with the City of Rosemount and in the fall of 2001, a 29 acre site was purchased on the corner of Biscayne Avenue and Connemara Trail for the new parish campus.

In October, McGough Co. was retained as contractor.

2001-2009

In the beginning of April, 2002, the Rosemount Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve the conditional use permit for the new church. On Saturday, July 20, the 5 pm Mass was said by Bishop Richard Pates. Immediately after Mass, those in attendance traveled over to the site of the new church where Fr. Tom Hill officiated at the ground breaking for the new church.

At the time, there were no plans as to what to do with the old church, school, rectory, and parish center, but in December, an agreement was made with the City of Rosemount to sell the campus. The parish leased both buildings from the city until 2009, when the new school was completed.After fifteen months of construction, the new church was complete. On Sunday, October 5, 2003, after a 9 am prayer service, Fr. Hill, Fr. Roach (retired), Fr. Colon, and Bishop Pates, plus a contingent of altar servers and the Knights of Columbus, led a procession of parishioners from the old 1924 church to St. Joseph’s new church building. A dedication ceremony took place, followed by the 10:30 Mass.

St. Joseph’s old rectory was torn down August 23, 2006. On August 1, 2007, the I-35W Bridge in St. Paul collapsed. St. Joseph’s parishioner Peter Hausmann was one of the thirteen fatalities. He drowned while attempting to help a pregnant woman and her child get out of her submerged car.

On September 14, 2008, Archbishop John Nienstadt joined Fr. Tom in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new St. Joseph’s School. On September 8, 2009, the school and education center opened for students. They were met by Principal Tom Joseph.

2010–2013

Fr. Tom Hill, after successfully guiding the parish during these transitional years, retired on July 1, 2011. He was 72 years old and had spent 14 years as St. Joe’s pastor. Fr. Paul Jarvis was appointed the new pastor. He was ordained in 2004 and had been pastor at Guardian Angels in Chaska.

Fr. Jarvis brought a new enthusiasm to the pulpit. He is remembered for walking up and down the aisles, before Mass and during his sermon, interacting with the parishioners. Anyone sitting in the first five rows were given "immunity" to any questions, etc. He formed ties with other denominations of churches in Rosemount, particularly the Methodist Church. The two churches began holding ecumenical Thanksgiving services. He also initiated the blessing of animals on the Feast of St. Francis. He made sure that St. Joseph’s was actively involved in the community.

On June 30, 2011, Gary Mitchell retired as Parish Administrator and Jerry Roth succeeded him. Deacon Steve Boatwright began his service to St. Joseph’s on December 18, 2011. St. Joseph’s old school building, which stood for nearly 60 years, was torn down Oct. 29, 2012. It was owned by the City of Rosemount, and the land was to be used for a senior housing complex and an addition to the Steeple Center.

Fr. Robert M. Schwartz accepted the role as a Sacramental Assistant the summer of 2011, after retiring from being pastor at Our Lady of Grace, Edina, MN. He also had been an associate pastor at Risen Savior, Apple Valley, pastor of St. John Neumann, Eagan, and held many other positions within the Archdiocese.

In April of 2013, Fr. Paul Jarvis suffered a near fatal aortic dissection. He survived, and, after three months of recovery, he returned to St. Joseph’s on a part time basis. Fr. Schwartz and Fr. Colon, with additional help from other priests and parish staff, carried the load.

2014–2018

In February of 2015, Fr. Paul Jarvis announced that he would be leaving St. Joseph's in the summer due to ongoing health problems. The decision was not an easy one and he said he would treasure his memories from St. Joe's forever. He left the parish for St. Bridget’s on June 30, 2015.

Fr. Paul Kammen became our 16th pastor on July 1, 2015. Father Paul graduated from the University of Minnesota. Then he felt called to the priesthood and was ordained a priest in May of 2007. He served at Holy Name of Jesus in Medina, Saint Hubert’s in Chanhassen. and pastor at Saint Maximilian Kolbe of Delano from 2011 to 2015.Since joining St. Joe’s, Fr. Paul says he has been struck by the dedication and love people have for their parish. In his spare time, Fr. Paul enjoys landscape and wildlife/bird photography.

Fr. Vince Colon celebrated 65 years in the priesthood on June 14, 2015. Fr. Vince died on February 28, 2016, after serving for many years as St. Joe's beloved "weekend priest." On February 1, 2016, Randy Haney replaced Jerry Roth as the Parish Administrator. He works with the six commissions that guide the parish.

In February, 2016, the City of Rosemount completed a $3 million expansion of the Steeple Center, St. Joe’s third church. The whole facility is finally air-conditioned. Fr. Bob Schwartz (who came as parish weekend assistant in 2014- a correction from a previous article) had medical problems in the fall of 2016, forcing him to leave St. Joseph’s. He is sorely missed, especially his spirituality and preaching skills.

On September 16, 2017, the parish kicked-off a year of celebrating for the church’s 150th anniversary with six new banners in front of the church. Other activities held over the year were cemetery tours lead by Jerry Mattson, card parties, and an ice cream social. The culmination of the year was a Harvest Fest and a special Mass on September 15, 2018, offered by Archbishop Bernard Hebda, and concelebrated with Fr. Paul and the inspirational return of Fr. Bob Schwartz.

Bob Sturm, member of the 150th Committee, completed the production of a DVD with interviews of longtime parishioners and also put together a photographic timeline of the history of the church. It is on display across from the social hall, where the showcases are filled with artifacts representing the church’s history. Ann Loch, a co-chair of the committee, is also putting together a new book of the history of the church, using archived materials from Jerry Mattson and other parishioners. It is filled with photos and information about the sixteen pastors and four churches that have brought St. Joe’s to its present place in the community. It is expected to be available at Christmas.

Deacon Gordon Bird became St.Joseph’s newest deacon on January 1, 2018. St. Joseph Catholic School is celebrating 65 years of educating students in the Catholic faith this year. Those students and staff worked together last school year on a commemorative "window" to celebrate the 150th. Each student and staff member painted a 2 inch wooden tile, which together depicted a portion of the Christ the King window. It was blessed at the Back-to-School Mass celebrated by Fr. Paul on September 13, 2018. It will find a permanent home in the school.

This article ends the series of 45 that have been written over the past two years in celebration of our 150 years as St. Joseph’s Church. The 150th Committee in 2015 took as its mission statement "Looking to our Future Through the Windows of our Past." Through the foresight of previous leaders, we are able to look through our almost 100 year old, beautiful stained glass windows today, and our children and grandchildren will be able to do so for many years to come.