St. Augustine's Catholic Church, Austin

#3 of 6 in Things to do in Austin
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
St. Augustine's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Austin, Minnesota, located in the Diocese of Winona. Completed in 1896, both the interior and exterior have been well-preserved, showcasing a distinct Gothic Revival architecture style. The large sanctuary can accommodate more than 600 people.
In 1857 there were a few scattered Catholic families in and around the village of Austin. On November 2, 1857, Father Michael Prendergast of Winona visited settlers in the Austin area and offered them Mass at the home of Thomas Gibson. In May of the following year he repeated his visit and again in November 1860. In 1861, Austin was transferred to the jurisdiction of the pastor of Faribault. Fr. George Keller then paid periodical and regular visits to Austin and the work of organization took definite form. Under this supervision the building of the first church of the Austin mission was begun in 1863.
St. Augustine's Parish was officially established in 1866, when the first church building was completed. Fr. John McDermott, the first resident pastor, arrived in June 1867. In June 1868, the Most Rev. Thomas Grace, Bishop of St. Paul, visited the parish, dedicated the new church (initially known as St. Austin's), and administered the sacrament of Confirmation to a group of children and adults. The Church of St. Augustine that stands today was erected to near completion under the supervision of Fr. Daniel O'Sullivan. Bishop Joseph Cotter officiated at the laying of the cornerstone on April 24, 1894. Fr. O'Sullivan died on June 21, 1896, and the church was completed under the direction of his successor, Fr. Edward Devlin. It was dedicated November 26, 1896. The church is constructed from red pressed brick with red sandstone trim quarried at Bayfield, Wisconsin. In 1933 Msgr. John Peschges was appointed pastor. That year, owing to the rapid growth of St. Augustine’s congregation, Bishop Francis Kelly established a second parish in Austin to be known as the Queen of Angels Church. A third Catholic church, St. Edward's, was established in Austin in 1960.
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St. Augustine's Catholic Church reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
22 reviews
  • We wander into this amazing church while visiting with family. Serene, blessed, amazing. We sat for quite a while just in awe and prayer.  more »
  • This historic church has been restored to perfection. The beauty and wonder of the place interior feels like one has stepped into a very special place. I sat in contentment and silence as I gazed...  more »
  • The renovation is beautiful. We visited from out of state and truly enjoyed the mass. The musical selections were modern and the cantor has a wonderful voice! A friendly congregation made us feel welcome.
  • Beautiful, newly renovated church

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