St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church started out offering mass in a small town hall for a few families in the late 19th century and has grown to be a predominant Catholic parish offering its services to Buffalo, Minnesota. Over the years, the message of the church has stayed strong while continually growing its community and faith through educating and practicing the Catholic faith.
With around 8 families to attend, the first official gathering of the Church of St. Francis Xavier was in 1888. In 1889, a small church was constructed near the current site in Buffalo, Minnesota, only to be reconstructed to twice its size less than 10 years later to accommodate the growing Catholic community. By 1912, Father W.H. Blum had successfully paid off the church debt and construction for a new, self-supporting parish was under way and completed in 1917. With a bell tower standing 125 feet tall, the Church of St. Francis Xavier continued to grow significantly with popularity and faith through the 1900’s needing small additions to the parish including a rectory, office space and by the late 1930’s, a school.
The St. Francis Xavier Catholic School opened in 1937 across from the church to offer an education for students from grades 1-8. Over the next 20 years, the school would build a solid foundation of faith and education resulting in a jump in registration of students creating a need for a larger school. The school expansion in 1960 included a large playground area outside along with the addition of a kitchen and cafeteria, which would now offer hot lunches. After a significant rise in enrollment in 1970 and lack of space, the parish decided to remove the 7th and 8th grade classes from their school, only to bring them back 37 years later with the construction of the new state-of-the-art facility in 2007.
Today the beautifully constructed Faith and Education Center is home to the parish offices, adoration chapel, gym, and classrooms to educate students while offering many other ministries to the parish. The church from 1917 still stands tall and provides a great religious experience of the Catholic faith through its Masses.
The Church of St. Francis Xavier has grown from a small congregation of religious families to a strong and significant community of Catholic supporters that will continue to grow through faith and value.
Jesus said, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.'” -Matthew 28:19