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Confessions - Saturday Confessions from 8:00-8:30 am and from 3:30-5:00 pm 









St. Joseph’s School Strategic Planning!

Our goal is to enhance the ability of our school to be a strong source of Catholic education for years to come. As St. Joseph parishioners, your input is important to this process. We are asking that each adult member of the parish fill out a brief survey online using the following link:





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During the winter of 1883, Father Thomas A. Cahill came from Larimore and frequently visited Devils Lake, offering Mass in a rented room on Fourth Street.  Father P.M. McGinnis became the first resident pastor in 1884.  In October 1884, the new parish acquired lots from the emerging town of Devils Lake, which also celebrated 125 years in 2008.  The first small wood frame structure serving as St. Joseph Church was erected on the corner of what is now First Street and Seventh Avenue.  An enlarged structure was dedicated in November of 1886 by Dakota Territory Bishop Martin Marty. 

Father Vincent Wehrle became pastor in 1888.  Working together with the Sisters of Mercy and members of the community, he saw to the opening of the hospital which would become "Mercy Hospital" in 1903. 

By then the parish was growing in size to more than 250 families.  During the pastorate of Father Augustine Fox, a new structure was built on the corner of Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue.  The cornerstone was laid on June 26, 1907.  Diocese of Fargo Bishop Shanley blessed and dedicated the new church building on April 29, 1908.  The architect, Anton Dohman of Milwaukee, also designed St. Mary Church at Assumption Abbey in Richardton, and many other North Dakota churches.  Our church structure has stood for over a century, as has the rectory built beside it at the same time.  Benedictine priests from Assumption Abbey served the parish from until 1974, and priests of Blue Cloud Abbey in South Dakota assumed responsibility until 1984.  Priests of the Diocese of Fargo then assumed responsibility to the present day.    (Source: St. Joseph Church 125th Anniversary history book)

Parish School:  The Sisters of Mercy opened St. Mary of the Lake Academy next to Mercy Hospital in 1909.  The growing parish community acquired land from the Sisters of Mercy and constructed a new parochial school, St. Joseph Elementary School, opening in the fall of 1957, at the intersection of Tenth Avenue and Tenth Street.  This building serves as the Catholic educational facility for pre-school through Grade 6 to the present day.  St. Mary High School remained in operation in the Academy building through 1979 when a fire and financial difficulties brought on a decision to close.  The building has been remodeled as St. Mary Apartments.

Parish Center: In 1994 the closing of the J.C. Penney building at 501 4th Street, next to the church, provided an opportunity for expansion of the parish facility.  This building now houses the parish offices, a modern kitchen and spacious dining area on the main level, and the St. Joseph's Closet Thrift Store on the lower level. 

Mother Teresa Hall: Our most recent addition, the hall adjoining the parish rectory and church, accompanied a major restoration of the church worship space interior.