Appeal denied, St. John’s church will close


Last fall, St. John’s Catholic Church, located at 977 East 5 th Street, announced that it would be merging with St. Pascal Baylon no later than July of 2013. The merger is part of a new plan within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis outlining a vision for a revitalized local church, including the restructuring of parishes with the Archdiocese.

As allowed by church law, St. John’s appealed the merger, but it was denied. Sacred Heart Catholic Church, will be the only Catholic Church in Dayton’s Bluff following the closing of St. John’s.

St. John’s long history in the community began in 1886, when the first of two parishes was erected on Fifth Street near Forest. In 1922, the original wood structure would be replaced with a brick parish. 2012 marks the 90th birthday of the second parish. This year, St. John’s celebrates 125 years of parish presence. St. John’s pastor, Father George Welzbacher, will celebrate 60 years of priesthood this June.

St. John’s established its first elementary school in 1890. The larger school, still standing today, was opened in 1932 and is approaching its 80th year.

Today the school is inhabited by St. Michael’s Academy, a small Catholic school but is currently looking for a major tenant. Interested parties should contact the office of St. John’s at 651-771-3690.