History of St. Ignatius Catholic Church
More than 130 years ago, in 1882 in the French Lake area, the first parish corporation of "The Church of St. Ignatius of French Lake, Minnesota" was formed. The first church erected by the newly organized parish was in our present French Lake Cemetery, about four miles southwest of Annandale. The old road in front of the French Lake Cemetery, originally the "Forest City Trail" used by pioneers, can still be seen.
Construction of the latest addition began in July 2006 under the guidance of St. Ignatius Pastor Fr. Victor Valencia. This addition includes a new entrance into the church, a small chapel for prayer and reflection, a spacious gathering space with a small kitchen, parish offices, additional classrooms, a library and an elevator. This new space was dedicated on March 18, 2007 by Archbishop Harry Flynn.
We invite you to become a part of our St. Ignatius community today and a piece of our history tomorrow.
The architect was John Peterson of Buffalo. The builders were Peter Green, Mr. Rosenow and Arthur Prevost and the total building cost was $6,538.98. The 1901 church served the parishioners of St. Ignatius for more than 50 years.
Our present church was thought about in 1955 when a building fund was started. By 1957, Bettenburg, Townsend, Stolte and Comb, architects of St. Paul, MN, had drawn plans for a new church. Our current church is built of Mankato stone under the guidance of Fr. Patrick Keany who served this parish for 32 years. The dedication of the Church of St. Ignatius and the Consecration of its Altar was on Tuesday, April 21, 1959 by Bishop Leonard Cowley.
Pastors who have served
St. Ignatius Catholic Church
Joseph Darche- 1898-1999
T.G. Plante- 1899-Sept. 1903
Charles Cavanagh- 1903-1906
William Rhatigan- 1906-1907
John Bryne- 1907-1908
Denis Sullivan- Jan. 1908 - Nov. 1908
John C. Laventure - 1908 - March 1914
Onnocentius Domestici - June 1914-Sept. 1914
F.J. McEwan - Sept. 1914-1917
Joseph Pothmann, OMI - 1917-1922
Michael O'Brien - 1923-March 1939
James F. Cronin- March 1939-June 1939
Patrick Keany- June 1939 - June 1971
Ambrose Filbin- 1971 - 1975
William McNulty - 1975-1991
Gerald Schunk- 1991-1995
Christopher Russell- 1995-1997
Stanley Kozlak- 1997-2002
Victor Valencia - 2003-2014
George Kallumkalkudy - 20014-Present
The church was served by Maple Lake from the time of its organization until 1898 when the first resident pastor, Rev. Joseph Darche, was appointed and moved into the new residence at Annandale. Rev. T. G. Plante succeeded Fr. Darche on October 11, 1899, then by October 1900, a chapel was ready at the Annandale site. It served as a place of worship until the new church was built in 1901. The first mass was said in the new church on December 1, 1901, and it was dedicated July 4, 1902 by Father Cahill, the Chancellor of the Diocese.