The History of the Church of St Joseph

A few Catholic families settled in the Jasper area soon after its founding.  The first Mass was celebrated in 1890 by Father F.P Kirvick of Pipestone.

He celebrated Mass once a month at the park House, a small hotel operated by J. Donovan.  After the Donovan family moved, five years later, Mass was offered at the Alex Rae home until 1905.

In 1905 Jasper’s first school, a frame structure, was purchased and converted into a chapel. Rev. Joseph Mangan of Pipestone succeeded Fr. Kirvick in 1900.

A brick church was built in 1918 on a large tract of land which was to provide for future parish buildings.  New families continued to move to Jasper so that two years after completing a new church, the congregation grew in size.

By 1929 the parish required a resident pastor.  The parish house was purchased and Fr. L.E. Gilligan became the first resident pastor.  He stayed until 1935 when Fr. R.J. Woods succeeded him.

Construction began in the spring of 1961 in St. Joseph‘s Center which was completed in the fall, and dedicated in November by His Excellency Edward A. Fitzgerald, bishop of the Diocese of Winona.  The building consists of four large classrooms, a parish hall and kitchen.  Cost of the building and furnishings totaled $75,433.00.

In 1975 the Church was remodeled by changing the interior to face west.  The center and the church were joined by a narthex on the north side with a ramp leading up to the church doors.

In 2016, St. Joseph parishioners were asked to become either an Oratory or consider closing as part of the Pastoral Planning – Vision 2016.  The Parish Finance Council looked at the cost of staying open as an Oratory or to close the building.  After many meetings as a council, it recommended that the parish close and try to sell the building.  A letter was sent out to the parishioners in February 2016 to gather and decide what they wanted to do.  After hearing from the Parish Finance Council on the cost of maintaining as an Oratory, those members of the parish that attended the meeting decided to close the church building and try to sell it.  That decision was then made known in the bulletin.

During this time, the city of Jasper became interested in purchasing the church building, using it as a Wellness Center, as a library and other possibilities.  On March 12, 2017, the last Mass was celebrated by Bishop John Quinn along with its pastor, Msgr. Gerald Kosse.  The parishioners then began to give the various sacred articles of the church to many other parishes in the area.  The city of Jasper purchased the church building in 2017, renaming it as the Community Quartzite Center.  The merging of St. Joseph with St. Leo was put on hold as it waits the settlement of the sexual lawsuit against itself and St. Leo, Pipestone, MN.

Priest Serving St. Joseph Catholic Church

1890-1900 - Fr. F.P. Kirvick

1900-1929 - Fr. Joseph Mangan

1929-1935 - Fr. L. E. Gilligan

1935-1939 - Fr. R.J. Woods

1939-1943 - Fr. J.P. Bergman

1943-1945 - Fr. Urban Buchheit

1945-1951 - Fr. Alphonse Diekmann

1951-1955 - Fr. Thomas Doyle

1955-1958 - Fr. Edward Klein

1958-1965 - Fr. William Curtis

1965-1968 - Fr. Fred Woodford

1968-1970 - Fr. Elmer Kellen

1970-1978 - Fr. Andrew Kreidemacher

1978-1983 - Fr. Raymond Redder

1983-1989 - Fr. Larry Gavin

1989-1994 - Fr. Eugene Egan

1994-1995 - Fr. Paul Heiting

1995-1997 - Fr. Keven Connolly

1997-2008 - Fr. Martin Schaefer

2008 - Fr. Gerald Kosse