Archbishop John Murray established the Church of St. Charles in 1943, to accomodate the growing number of Catholic families in the area. The first pastor was Father Francis Miller, who was charged with the organizing the new parish and to build a church. This proved problematic because of World War II, as the building of any structures took critical materials away from the war effort. Thus, building was prohibited. Thankfully The People's Congregational Church offered to let the parishioners of St. Charles use their building for Mass. The first Mass was celebrated July 18, 1943, by Father Miller.
In July, 1944, the War Production Board approved the building of a basement building site for St. Charles. The Elton Judkins property on North Third Street was selected and George W. Olson Construction Company began excavation April 28, 1944. There are several Charter Members in our parish today who can recall the memory of building our church and being at that Mass.
Plans were ready to begin construction on the main church in January, 1951, but again was delayed due to the Korean War, subsequent rising costs and shortage of materials. Finally, in August, 1952, George W. Olson Construction began work on the present church building. The cornerstone was laid March 10, 1954, by Father Miller. Archbishop Murray officially dedicated the church on September, 15, 1954.
When the new parish of St. Charles was established, St. Michael's Cemetery fell within its boundaries and was designated a joint cemetery between the churches of St. Charles, St. Mary and St. Michael. The St. Michael's Cemetery contains grave markers dating back to the 1800's and continues to serve the tri-parishes of St. Croix Valley. There is a committee of tri-parish volunteers who help to maintain the beauty of the cemetery.
Today, there have been 16 Priests who have shepherded the people of St. Charles through the years. All have given selflessly of their time and talents to improve our parish community and to guide our journey of faith.
As a parish, we are grateful for the many blessings God has given parishioners through the years. The parish has changed through the years from the original 65 families. The people of St. Charles are proud of their parish and with God's guidance, we will continue to grow in holiness for many years to come. Our parishioners take ownership in their mission parish.
Photo courtesy of Matt Aggerbeck