History

The original log church of Saint John's Church of Little Canada was built in 1851-52 by forty French-Canadian families. Saint John's was the fourth Roman Catholic parish established in the Minnesota Territory. It is the second oldest Catholic church in the state occupying the same plot of ground under the same name. Father Jean Fayolle was appointed its first pastor by Bishop Joseph Cretin. He lived and held services in the cabin of Benjamin Gervais, a founder of St. Paul and the earliest settler at Little Canada. The log church was completed and dedicated on October 7, 1852. Under the leadership of Father Joseph Goiffon, the second building of Saint John's was finished in 1881. It was constructed of brick kilned from clay dug on the farm of Sylvan Nadeau near Lake Vadnais.  Gothic in style, the edifice was surmounted by a 113 foot steeple. In 1956, the brick building was razed to make way for the present church, erected under the direction of Monsignor Arthur H. Durand. It was dedicated on October 27, 1957, more than 100 years after the early settlers of Little Canada built their first church.

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Church Brochure with Photos.pdf1.66 MB