Reader seeking Catholic parish in Rochester MN

Dear Matt,

I recently came across your blog. I have friend living in Rochester who is reverting to the faith, but I know will be repulsed by modern liberal liturgies.

Can you tell me what is the best orthodox parish to go to in your area?

My reply but looking for more feedback, firing off the hip here so feel free to correct: 
St Francis of Assisi - Rochester, MN
There is a Rochester Latin Mass Society, they have a semi regular Latin Mass just south of Rochester.  The new priest though is not so interested so they are only getting like every other Sunday Masses right now, I think(correct me if I'm wrong). I hear probably the best place to go for non Latin Mass is St. Francis ( if it's necessary but I think some things are less than ideal, the choir is all up in the sanctuary and stuff. The priest there is pretty good I think, but the culture of the clergy in the diocese is such that nobody want's to make liturgical improvements for fear of retaliation by liberal priests/curia. The choir is "praise and worship" style, but the execution was one of the... best I've heard for that style, I remember the piano was not being banged on either, but actually complimented the choir well.  A violinist as well if I remember - under the right direction this choir would be a gem.  If their Facebook page is any indicator, they are on the right path.

Other than that there's really no good parishes in Rochester, I have a friend who works in Rochester and drives 45 minutes or so to Wabasha, MN who has a great priest stationed there. My experience is the whole area is really a void for the most part(unless you like 100% English, praise and worship 4 hymn sandwich).  La Crosse is about an hour away with some decent options. Or in the other direction .... I think there's a good parish in Owatonna(or maybe it was Mankato) , I'd have to double check, but it's about an hour in the other direction there's a good parish that way as well.  I think Sleepy Eye is going to be too far for regular Mass.  
It's been a while since I trekked around the Winona Diocese on a regular basis.  Feedback appreciated.  Notice I didn't add that group that will only use liturgical texts prior to like the 1900s?  LOL!

... when I say "good parish" I mean good liturgy from my perspective.  

Ah, forgot to mention St. James Coffee Shop!


  1. If they're willing to wake up early and drive an hour to another diocese, St. Joseph's in Miesville, MN has a Sunday 8:00am TLM.

  2. BC - Feel free to pass on my contact info to this person - I'd like to chat with someone coming back to the faith in Roch.

    Here's my take. If you want a properly celebrated Mass.........stay out of Roch. It will only bring down your faith. St. Francis is ok. The Priest says a beautiful Mass, but there are other trappings during the Mass that do not need to be there. Tell you friend to take a 15 minute drive for the sake of his soul. Below are my recommendations for those who will say the black and do the red. I can't say enough good things about these Priests and how reverently they offer the Holy Mass.

    North - St. Michael's in Pine Island - Fr. Kasel - 15 minutes
    South - St. Mary's in Chatfield - Fr. Arens - 15 -20 minutes
    East - St. Felix in Wabasha - Fr. Cook........about 45 minutes
    West - St John in Dodge Center - Fr. Parrott 15-20 minutes

  3. I lurched back toward the Faith while living in Rochester. One place that really helped me was the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Resurrection. But yes, if you are looking for a beautiful church, a well-celebrated Mass, and encouragement to be Catholic for more than 55 minutes per week, it will take an utterly mammoth effort in Rochester.


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