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. PreK-5 grade families meet on the first Wednesday of the month, gathering for some time together before students meet with their teachers and parents learn about the same subjects with our pastor or another leader.  Grades 6 through senior high  meet on Wednesday evenings until early May.  Confirmation for 10th and 11th grade students who  prepared in the two year program was celebrated with our sister churches on November 20th, 2016.  2017-18 9th and 10th  grade students have started their two year program of preparation for Confirmation in 2018. If you have a student you wish to enroll in that program, please contact the Office at 507-867-3922. 

Danah Morey (  joined our staff in June of 2016 as our Director of Faith Formation for the Holy Family Catholic Parishes, but due to career demands at her full-time job, she has cutback to serve as co-coordinator of the Pre-K through 5th grade program with  Shawn LaPlante, who is also supervising the program for junior/senior high students and young adults.  Both coordinators will continue to work with our  pastor, Fr. Edward McGrath, and the volunteers at each of the parishes to develop a unified program for the parish community.


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

Find Us On Facebook






Parish Events:

Western Days Cash Raffle

$50 per ticket, with only 500 tickets sold and 50 prizes!  Top award is $5000!

Click here to see the prize details and the ticket sellers to connect with!