St. Mary's Parish

Our Past and Present

St. Mary's Parish is located at 323 Twiford St SW, Chatfield, MN, 55923.  The offices for the pastor, Faith Formation Director, and Administrative Assistant are in the Parish Center at 405 Bench St SW, one block west of the church.  The phone number for the offices is 507-867-3922 and email is  The usual office hours are Monday through Friday-8:30 until 1:30. 


Humble Beginnings

St. Mary's Catholic Church was founded to meet the needs of the growing community of settlers moving west for a better life.  The little town in the "Chosen Valley" of southeastern Minnesota grew quickly in the 1800's due to the land grant office located here and,  in its early days, it offered the services of several banks, doctors and merchants to those passing through and to those settling in for a better life in the territory.

Growing Through Change

After many years of being served by circut-riding priests, the first simple wooden structure was constructed in 1865, and in just a few years a larger structure was needed.  The many Irish immigrants helped the parish grow and thrive.  In 1931, despite the hardships of the Great Depression, the current brick structure was completed. An education building was constructed in 1961 to offer released-time faith formation classes taught by resident Sisters and volunteer lay teachers.   An addition to add an elevator and ground level entrance was completed in 1988 and the Hall kitchen was modernized in 2012.   With changes in public school programing and family schedules, faith formation classes are now offered on Sundays and Wednesday evenings and the school building transitioned to become the Parish Center, housing all the staff offices, as well as the classrooms. 

Looking to the Future

As the shortage of priests and religious developed, St. Mary's was one of many churches that began sharing the services of our pastors. We are currently clustered with  St. Columban's of Preston, St. Patrick's of Lanesboro,  Nativity of Harmony, and Assumption of Canton.  In the coming monthes, pastoral planning changes will be implemented and some churches will become oratories.    Administration and education staffing will be adjusted to economize both time and money, and to allow the best use of our pastor's time and talents. 

Faith Formation Program:

Faith Formation classes for grades began in October. All grades meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:15.  The first Wednesday of each month begins with all families sharing a meal in the parish hall, followed by the parents meeting to learn about the monthly topic while the students meet with the volunteer teachers.  Ninth and Tenth grade students begin their 2-year Confirmation preparation program this Fall, with the sacrament to be celebrated in 2020.   If you have a student you wish to enroll in that program, please contact the Office at 507-867-3922. 

Ms. Shawn LaPlante is in her second year as coordinator of the parish education program.  She works with Father McGrath and her advisory board to develop and enrich a program to assist parents in growing their children in the Catholic faith.  Volunteers are always needed to assist in a number of ways.


Music Ministry

Join together in song, under the talented direction of our choir director, Jeanette Fortier, and accompanied by lead organist, Marjorie Martin. Rehearsals are held in the Choir Loft following Sunday AM Mass.  Additional rehearsals are held  evenings in Advent and Lent to prepare for special liturgies. Sing at 8:00am Sunday Mass, as your schedule allows. Contact the Parish Office at 507-867-3922 with any questions.

Click here for a Parish Registration Form

Click here for Faith Formation Registration Form/documents/faith-formation-2019-registration

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Parish projects during the Community Celebration  of       Western Days,  August 8-11, 2019:

Thanks to all who worked on the annual projects and those who supported the volunteers who worked the food stand and sold raffle tickets.

It was another successful year!