Casimir Parish was established in 1892. Large companies and several
railroads were arriving in the area, increasing the number of Poles in
St. Paul. In 1888 they organized themselves into a society named from
St. Casimir Prince. A committee was formed to collect funds for a
three lots at the corner of Forest & Jessamine were purchased. Economic
conditions prevented the beginning of construction until 1892.
The first building housed both
a school on the ground floor (which opened in September of 1893 with an
enrollment of 50) and a church on the upper floor. The building was
blessed on November 27, 1892. The first mass was celebrated on December
3, 1892. The temporary rectory was at 924 East Jessamine.
In 1895 a new rectory was built at
the corner of Forest and Geranium.
immigrants and other nationalities joined St. Casimir parish. The
Franciscan Sisters, who were stationed in the parish mainly to teach in
the parish school, lived in a convent at 1130 Forest.
in 1899, several building projects were begun, including a
convent in 1901 and a Romanesque church in 1903. The cornerstone was
put into place in September 1904 and the structure was blessed on
November 27, 1904 by Archbbishop John Ireland. The first mass in the
new church was also celebrated that day.
1908-1987 the Felician Sisters served St. Casimir Parish. Their last
year of teaching was the 1986-87 school year.
The parish was without a
pastor until April 15, 1916 when an Oblate of Mary Immaculate was
appointed. The Missionary Oblates
of Mary Immaculate presence as overseers of the parish, a relationship that
lasts to this day.
parish silver Jubilee was celebrated on November 8, 1917.
school was built in 1923. A Fall Festival lasting a week was held to
raise funds for the building. The school was blessed on November 4,
1923 and had a capacity of 600 students.
land for a new convent was purchased and construction began the
following year, with completion in 1932.
During the 1920's the parish received its first assistant pastor from Poland. The number of Polish immigrants to the area decreased
after 1918 when Poland gained its independence.
1942 St. Casimir celebrated its Golden Jubilee.
There was a setback in
projects in 1945 when two young boys lighting candles were involved
in a scuffle, causing a fire which nearly destroyed the organ and
the altar. The Blessed Sacrament was rescued by the assistant pastor and the vessels were rescued by the nuns.
In 1960 ground
was broken for the new school addition (Geranium Street side). The pastor in 1962 mandated that he
reduce the $400,000 debt of the parish.
In 1969, the
basement of the Church was redecorated to include a chapel and community
room, with a new entrance on the west side of the Church.
Anniversary of the parish was celebrated in 1992, shortly after the
church was redecorated. No major improvements have been made to the
church since that time.
Since June 2001 the
parish has made great strides in making our facility handicap
accessible. An elevator project began April 8, 2003. Other capital
improvements include tuck-pointing the steeples and placing copper
shingles on the steeples.
November 2004 was the
Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church (building).