St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales ChurchHistory

In 1868, the Catholic families in the western half of Dodge County, feeling the need for a church in their midst, petitioned for the establishment of a church at Claremont.

Thomas Donahue and James McCarthy were chosen as the first trustees and the church building was erected in 1869. For 29 years, the parish was attended from Owatonna until the parish house was built in 1898. A Catholic cemetery was established in 1909.

For many years, St. Francis de Sales parish has remained a beautiful little parish in a small country town. Because of an increasing shortage of priests in the diocese, St. Francis de Sales became a mission of St. Vincent de Paul in West Concord on May 18, 1979.

In 1990, St. John the Baptist de la Salle in Dodge Center, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Francis de Sales came together to form the Triton Catholic Parish cluster.

From 1979 to 1995, the St. Francis rectory was used solely for religious education. In 1995, the rectory was sold and moved east of Claremont to become a private residence. The parish community celebrated its 125th anniversary with a Mass on June 26, 1994. Bishop John Vlazny celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving.

On October 1st, 2016, St. Francis became an oratory as part of the Vision 2016 Pastoral Planning process.