Commemorating 125 years of faith

Categories: Around the Diocese,Special Features

Although the St. Cloud Diocese was officially established in 1889, Catholics began moving into the area long before then — forming parishes and constructing churches and other structures necessary to shape communities.

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, which is no longer in existence, was created in Long Prairie in 1851; the next year Holy Family Parish in Belle Prairie was established. In fact, 61 parishes existed before the diocese was established.

The first Benedictine men arrived in 1856 followed by Benedictine women in 1857. In the years after the diocese was founded other religious came, bringing their special gifts and ministries. The Franciscan Convent in Little Falls was begun in 1891, the Crosier Fathers arrived in 1910 and the Franciscan Poor Clare nuns established their community in 1924. The School Sisters of Notre Dame also contributed much to the education of youth in the diocese.

Nine bishops have shepherded the diocese while countless priests have served local parishioners — fostering their spiritual growth and guiding them through their most significant moments, including baptisms, confirmations, marriages and funerals.

So much has occurred during the rich and broad-reaching 125-year history of the St. Cloud Diocese (and the years that precede it) that several large volumes would be necessary to tell the whole story. Below is a small sampling of the diocese’s milestones. Also, view 125th Anniversary center section (PDF)

1889

popeleo

Pope Leo XIII establishes the St. Cloud Diocese, comprised of 16 counties in central Minnesota, and places it under the patronage of St. Cloud.

 1902

chs1902

Cathedral High School in St. Cloud opens.

1924

children_home

The St. Cloud Orphan Home (now the St. Cloud Children’s Home) opens.

1928

st_cloud_hospital

St. Cloud Hospital, built and staffed by Benedictine sisters, replaces St. Raphael’s Hospital in St. Cloud.

1933

pro_cathedral

Holy Angels Pro-Cathedral burns down, but is rebuilt.

1937

cathedral

St. Mary’s Cathedral is named the cathedral of the diocese.(Holy Angels served as the Pro-Cathedral.)

1938

first-visitor

First edition of the St. Cloud Register, precursor to The Visitor, is published. (The newspaper had a circulation of 10,000 for its first edition.)

1948

First marriage preparation course is offered in diocese.

(Thirty-four couples registered, 120 couples attended.)

1959

tvmass

First TV Mass is recorded and aired Channel 7 in Alexandria. (Bishop Peter Bartholome is the first homilist.) Pictured is Msgr. Daniel Taufen, regular celebrant of the TV Mass.

1965

venezuela

First diocesan priests arrive in Maracay, Venezuela, starting the partnership with the Maracay Diocese.

1971

first-deacon

First permanent deacon, Deacon John Scott, is ordained for the St. Cloud Diocese.

1989

centennial-mass

Centennial Mass is celebrated at Runestone Civic Center in Alexandria.

1999

Diocesan Mission statement receives final official approval.

1999

homa-bay

Diocesan partnership with Homa Bay, Kenya, is established.

2013

kettler

Bishop Donald Kettler is named and installed as the ninth bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese.