In October 1902, a parish meeting was held in Clements.
Just a few months later, in January 1903, the first Mass was held for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
This past June the Clements congregation closed the doors of the church for the final time.
“It was our choice,” said Peggy Groebner, one of the long-time members of the church when the decision was made to close.
A final service was held in June, and since then members of the church have been getting the building ready for demolition.
Two auctions have been held to sell some of the items that have been collected over the life of the Redwood County Catholic church, with the most recent held Oct. 28.
Funds raised during the auction are being used to help cover costs of tearing down the church, school and other buildings. The date for the demolition has not been set.
According to Tom Groebner, also a long-time member of St. Joseph’s, the auction resulted in approximately $5,700 toward the demolition project.
The church, which became an oratorio 13 years ago, received a donation from a family that will also help cover the demo costs. The building demolition is likely going to take place next spring.
While St. Joseph’s is closed, its impact will continue, as some of the sacred items at the church have been donated to other churches, including new programs in the Philippines. Some of the items from the church are also going to be sent to Nigeria.
The Clements congregation has had a long history in the community, and its impact can be felt in the fact that many priests and nuns came from St. Joseph’s Church.
While it is sad, Peggy Groebner said they have no regrets.