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 began in September. Elementary grades K-6 meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30PM, and grades 7-8 and Confirmation meet from 6:30-8PM. If you have a student you wish to enroll in that program, please contact the Office at 507-867-3922. 

Earlier this fall, our new full-time Director of Faith Formation, Neal Abbott was hired  to work with the parish leaders and volunteers to grow our programs and enrich the faith life of all our parishioners, young and old.   Parents are encouraged to learn about the changes and participate with their children.


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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Rehearsals began Nov. 13th but children are still able to sign up to participate.

Adults are invited to help with props, costumes, stage managing, and meal preparation.

Contact Therese with questions or to sign up.