Friends of St Rose Inc

A nonprofit organization

30 donors

The mission of the Friends of St. Rose is to preserve and restore St. Rose of Lima as an historic site in rural Cherry Grove Township.

St. Rose of Lima was built in 1878 by Irish immigrants who came to Goodhue County, Minnesota with only their faith and their family in hopes of a better life. These Irish immigrants used the trade skills of their homeland to build St. Rose. The parishioners themselves quarried and hauled local native limestone to this site. St. Rose is emblematic of the pioneer experience and of an ethnic community coming to America in search of a new home. It retains significant and fundamental integrity as a wholly unaltered tangible piece of immigrant pioneer history.

In the 1950's, new Catholic churches were built in two nearby towns. St. Rose suffered a slow decline of membership that eventually lead to its closure. The last mass was held on June 4, 1961. St. Rose fell quietly into disrepair for the next four decades.  In 2002, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota listed St. Rose of Lima on Minnesota's Ten Most Endangered Historic Properties. The Friends of St. Rose Inc. was formed shortly after this announcement in August of 2002. As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, the Friends of St. Rose was dedicated to the preservation and restoration of St. Rose. They purchased the building in October of 2003 for one dollar from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.     

Since then, the Friends of St. Rose has succeeded in preserving this piece of Minnestoa history and made significant progress toward restoring St. Rose back to its original splendor. Major restoration projects completed include: cedar shingled roof, heating and air conditioning, interior ceiling repair, trompe l'oeil decorative painting, re-leading original stained glass windows, bell tower preservation plus the recently completed cedar shingle spire restoration. Only the restration of the copper finial with cross remains on the spire preservation.

The goal is to return St. Rose to its original historic presence in rural Minnesota. Donations are needed to complete projects that include the sacristy renovation, historically correct altars, interior painting, exterior lighting and landscaping. Your financial support will ensure that this stunning and significant piece of Minnesota's architectural and Irish immigrant history will survive for future generations to appreciate and experience.

The Friends of St. Rose was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 13, 2013. This designation affirms the historical significance and our shared mission of preserving this historic site for future generations.

Organization Data


Organization name

Friends of St Rose Inc

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture


10155 505TH ST
KENYON, MN 55946