St. Rose in Mt. Vernon to break ground Aug. 2


An artist’s rendering of the third St. Rose Church in Mt. Vernon. It reflects the design of the current church. A rose window of St. Rose of Lima will be placed above the sanctuary. Slideshow below. (Renderings courtesy Shelden Architecture)


There are two reasons parishioners of St. Rose in Mt. Vernon are building a new church: the current structure is too small and it’s falling apart.

Father Dan Duling, who is also pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Ost and St. Louis Parish in Waterloo, said under normal circumstances 50 to 100 people are forced to watch Sunday Mass on a screen in the parish hall.

Current church a century old

“That church is about 100 years old and it’s literally falling down,” he said. “We’ve been working for about two and a half years on a master plan and the first phase of that master plan is to build this church.”

The parish’s first church was struck by lightning a century ago on June 25, 1920, and burned to the ground. Parishioners who lived nearby were able to save most of the contents.

A replacement, the current church, was constructed and was dedicated on Aug. 28, 1921, by Bishop Augustus J. Schwertner. It was the first church dedicated by Bishop Schwertner who was installed as the second bishop of the diocese on March 10, 1921.

His successor, Bishop Carl A. Kemme, will take part in a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2.

The plans for the church were unveiled in late June, Father Duling said.

“Parishioners fell in love with it,” he said. “We’re on a tight budget, so it’s a very quaint church. We will have room for stained glass windows and additions later, but it’s a very simple and beautiful church.”

New church will resemble current church

The pastor of the tri-parish community said the new structure will incorporate the original altar and other elements from the original church.

“The bell tower is an exact replica of the original church,” he said. The bell has been removed, sent away to be refurbished, and will be back ready for its new home in a few months – ready for its next century of use.

Construction will take nine to 10 months, Father Duling estimated, depending on how the coronavirus pandemic affects workers and the supply chain.

The church is located less than a mile southwest of Cheney State Park and is popular with fishermen and weekenders during the summer.