Church of St. John of St. Paul
Rev. James E. Doyle
Fourth Pastor 1929 - 1945

The fourth pastor of St. John’s came to the church in 1929 from St. Cecilia’s in Midway. During his twelve years as pastor there, three additional lots and a rectory were acquired, and a parochial school built. Before that Father Doyle had been pastor of the church at Green Isle, Minnesota. His first appointment after his ordination in 1904 was to St. Thomas College, where he combined the duties of instructor in English and Latin and prefect of discipline, with those of director of athletics and coach of the baseball and basketball teams. During his stay at the college he undertook the collection of funds for the erection of an athletic field, and personally supervised the entire work, which included the reclaiming of the swamp land which had been selected as the best available site.

According to the Northwestern Chronicle an enthusiastic welcome was given Father Doyle at a reception held in his honor on Sunday, May 6.

It would have been easy with so fine a parish establishment to have succumbed to the temptation to rest upon the achievements of his predecessors, but Father Doyle was filled with that pioneering spirit which seems to have been the inheritance of all the pastors of St. John’s. Father Doyle began at once to work on the parish societies, reorganizing some, starting new ones. Shortly after his arrival in 1929 he consolidated all the societies for married women in the parish into the Rosary Society and established the Young Ladies Sodality. In the same year he organized a Boy Scout Troop, and an Altar Boys’ Sodality. A Parent-Teachers Association, a Holy Name group, a Dramatic Club, a Literary Club, a Young Men’s Athletic Association and a Young Women’s Athletic Association, show the enthusiasm with which he provided for the various needs and desires of those under his charge.

As the parish grew in numbers, a new school became necessary to care for the growing student population of the district. Plans were submitted to Father Doyle by the firm of Slifer and Abrahamson, architects, and work was begun in July, 1931. On January 31, 1932, the new school was formally opened to the public.  The formal dedication of the building took place on April 17, 1932. 

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