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The Parish of St. Patrick is the oldest Irish Catholic parish in Rice County and the second oldest Irish Catholic parish in the State of Minnesota. General James Shields founded the settlement of Shieldsville in the 1850’s and worked very hard to get Irish immigrants to move into the Shieldsville area. Land could be purchased for $2 per acre. In 1856 Bishop Cretin sent word to build a church on Dodd Road. Each man in the parish hauled his allotted amount of logs to the saw mill on Lake Mazaska. Carpenters from St. Paul built the church for $800.
In April 1888 the church was struck by lightning and severely damaged. Damage was repaired and the congregation was able to celebrate Mass in the church again beginning Christmas Day 1888.
On July 29, 2002 lightning struck for the second time in our history, totally destroying the church. Planning and rebuilding continued for two years and our new facility was dedicated on August 1, 2004 with over 900 people in attendance. Our new facility includes the new church which holds 450, social hall which holds up to 400, six classrooms and two offices.
St. Patrick holds several annual events, including the Fall Festival, Grand Party, St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, Ladies Choir Summer Concert and Holiday Open House.