Last Update: 7/02/2014
St. John's Catholic Church is now an Islamic Center
The entire campus of the the Church of Saint John of St. Paul was sold on June 20, 2014
and has become the Darul-Uloom Islamic Center.
Here are media reports of the sale:
East Side Review
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Father Z's Blog
The Catholic Spirit

The End of St. John's as a Catholic Church
June 2014
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis deconsecrated the church and removed most of the Christian symbols,
 both interior and exterior, before the sale of the St. John's was finalized on June 20. After that date the process
was continued by the new owners.  See photos of the destruction below.
Monday June 23 - The building is empty
The walls and floors are bare. The floors were covered with rugs by Friday June 27.
The main stained glass windows were saved but the symbols in five of them were removed
and replaced with plain, colored panels. Removed: Chalice, Monstrance, Sacred Heart with thorns,
Mary's Heart with flowers and sword, and Harp in choir loft window.
Remaining: Wheat and grapes.
Windows in sacristies were removed and replaced with plain glass.
Whereabouts of removed windows is unknown.
Photos by Bill Whelan

Thursday June 12 - Cross-shaped windows on front door covered
The cross-shaped windows on the front door were covered with sheet metal on Thursday June 12
and the doors repainted on Monday June 16.
Photos by Greg Cosimini

Friday June 6 - All altars were removed from the church
Photos by Greg Cosimini
The front of the main altar with the Last Supper and the tabernacle from St. Joseph's altar
were previously moved to the Church of St. Pius V in Cannon Falls. 
All the other altar and altar parts were broken apart and thrown in dumpsters today.
The large light over the main altar was taken down and is resting on the floor.
Some of the pews and the altar rail remain.  
Here are a few photos of what the interior looked like on Sunday June 8.

Tuesday June 3 - Cross removed from church
Photos by Greg Cosimini
I went past St. John's this afternoon and saw a gigantic lift in the parking lot.
Fearing the worst I looked up and saw that the cross on the top of the church had been removed.
No one had been notified in advance of this very significant event.

I asked where the cross went, hoping to salvage it. They said it broke while it was being removed and was already in the dumpster.
The original plan was to keep it and put it in a garden at St. Pascal's. 
I tried to get some photos of it in the dumpster but it was mostly covered by parts of one of the confessionals. 
Apparently the confessionals aren't being saved in their entirety as originally planned.

With regards to the stained glass windows:  The windows can stay but the religious symbols in the circles on each one have to go.
A stained glass company was called in to assess the situation.  If the entire center panel has to be removed the cost would be $3,000 each.
However the symbols are most likely painted and it might be possible to remove them using a scraper or paint remover of some kind. 
The windows in the two sacristies have to be removed because they are each a Christian symbol.
I asked if they would be available for purchase but no one knew.

Neither did anyone know what will be happening with the remaining altars or portions thereof.

St. John's Church today

St. John's as it looked for the past 91 years

Closeup view

  Wider view

Cross in dumpster

Parts of a confessional in dumpster

Monday June 2 - Altars and pews being removed
Photos by Greg Cosimini
Three gentlemen from the Church of St. Pius V in Cannon Falls were dismantling the pews.
Some were already removed. The plan is to take most of them.
   They have already taken the standalone front portion of the main altar. They will not be taking the back part. 
They had previously dismantled St. Joseph's altar but the only part they took was the tabernacle.  That was the only way they could get to it. 
As far as they know those are the only parts of the altars going to St. Pius V.
Apparently they are not taking all three complete altars as we were previously told.
 They were told to be done with their work by June 21.

Both confessionals are partially dismantled.

There was also a contractor working on both the handicap ramp that had been leaking in heavy rains and snow melts
and the east wall inside of church adjacent to the ramp.
They are being repaired per orders of city inspectors who cited safety and health concerns due to mold.