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Rosemount St. Joseph church celebrates sesquicentennial with fireworks

The community is welcome to attend the Harvest Festival at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Rosemount this weekend from Sept. 14-16 with music, food and many activities including live bands, polka, bingo, special masses and fireworks. Photograph courtesy of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church1 / 2
The community once worshipped at Church of St. Joseph in Rosemount that is now the modern Steeple Center venue that hosts many live theatre and concerts. Photo courtesy of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church2 / 2

ROSEMOUNT — The church family of St. Joseph in Rosemount is proud to celebrate its 150 years sesquicentennial. The church invites the community to partake in all festivities this Friday through Sunday, Sept. 14-16.

The church congregation formed when Irish and German pioneers settled Dakota County and the land that is now the city of Rosemount.

"We are excited about the ongoing activities for our 150th that will kick off the Harvest Festival," said Bridget Samson, parish life director at the church.

Today the church is proud of more than 70 organizations and ministries that began quite humbly from the goodwill and faith from this church congregation.

Ann Loch, a committee member and church leader, is now busy writing a historical perspective that will be a part of a new hardcover parish directory book published by the end of the year.

John Loch, a leader of the church's anniversary committee, said many of the church's events do tie in well with the church's history. Throughout this year, Loch said the church has hosted cemetery tours, old-fashioned card parties and social games.

One big celebration project has been the school project under the leadership of Ann and John Loch.

"We will do a mosaic of the window and every adult, child and staff at the church made a tile and it will be unveiled shortly," Loch said.

Throughout the history of Dakota County and the state, the church members were involved even during the temperance movement.

Weekend events

The Harvest Festival party is designed to be family-friendly with activities, music and food that commence 6-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at the Church of St. Joseph, 13900 Biscayne Ave., Rosemount.

The party menu will include homemade pretzels, brats and hot dogs, along with beer and soft drinks. The Jolly Zuks Band will entertain with polka-style music and dancing. The celebration will offer a large craft fair, children's games, raffles, a punch wall and a wine toss.

The church is sponsoring a 5K community run in the morning of Saturday, Sept. 15.

Rosemount Knights of Columbus will grill up pork chops on a stick for lunch.

The public is welcome to worship in a special 150th anniversary polka Mass at 5 p.m. Sept. 15. This Mass will be led by the Catholic Archbishop Bernard Hebda.

After Mass, a special traditional chicken dinner will be served. The meal is $6 for children, $12 for adults and $42 for a family. After supper the party continues with more bingo and a raffle. The Chimielewski Band will perform polka music for dancing along with children's entertainment.

The Saturday celebration will be capped off with a large fireworks display for the community and residents of Rosemount to enjoy.

On Sunday, Sept. 16 after morning Mass worship services, there will be a continental breakfast where the Irish duo singer Sister Tree will perform.

"The Irish Duo Sister Tree is from the area and they will play folk, Americana and bluegrass in between masses in the gathering area and social hall," Loch said.

The Rev. Paul Kammen, pastor at St. Joseph's parish, said the church family is now made up of more than 2,000 families. The school is teaching about 190 students from preschool through eighth grade.

"We will be incorporating polka music into the mass that night," said Kammen smiling.

Former faith leaders and the Rev. Paul Jarvis and the Rev. Bob Swartz may be in attendance. Many past alums and members have been invited to the sesquicentennial celebration.

"We have sent out invitations to four of our daughter churches," Loch said. He explained how a daughter church would form in the Catholic Church when a church congregation grew too large and church members would start a new parish.