Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint Vincent de Paul began in 1888 to serve Frogtown’s Irish Catholics. Its congregation has many Hmong members today.

In 1888 the local conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society opened a small mission chapel near the corner of Blair Avenue and Virginia Street. It served about 125 families, most of them Irish. Priests from Saint Luke’s served the congregation, although a priest from Saint Joseph church at Carroll Avenue and Virginia Street offered the first Mass.

Father Laurence Cosgrove was the first resident pastor, and first in a long line of Irish priests. Cosgrove is credited with fostering Saint Vincent’s growth and development. The church was dedicated in May 1888.

Cosgrove was somewhat of a legend. In addition to being pastor of Saint Vincent's, he served as chaplain of Calvary Cemetery, chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, chaplain of the State Order of Foresters, and first pastor of Saint Andrew's Parish, which was founded in 1889 as a mission of Saint Vincent's.

Saint Vincent grew to more than 800 families by the mid-20th century. The church was extensively renovated in the 1930s, with labor from men and women of the parish.

The church entrance and vestibule were renovated in the early 1950s.

The tradition of Irish priests at Saint Vincent ended in 1979, when Father Bernard C. Klein took charge. In recent years St. Vincent’s congregation became more diverse, with many members of Hmong descent. In 2012 the parish became part of the Cathedral of Saint Paul.

Saint Vincent’s teams, especially in baseball and basketball, had an illustrious history and produced many star baseball players including Saint Paul Saints and Chicago White Sox star Larry Rosenthal. School alumnus Jim McCarter made Ripley’s Believe it or Not in 1931 when he struck out all 27 batters for Saint Vincent’s in a game against Saint Andrew’s. Internationally known boxers Mike and Tommy Gibbons were also from Saint Vincent.

One interesting note is that all three of the Frogtown Catholic churches were dedicated by the legendary Archbishop John Ireland.

Images

Saint Vincent's Church

Saint Vincent's Church

Priest, altar boys, and church members Date: Approximately 1895 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Church of Saint Vincent de Paul

Church of Saint Vincent de Paul

Brick laying crew and priest at construction of the church. Date: 1890-1899 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Saint Vincent's Church

Saint Vincent's Church

Procession of 300 men who built St. Vincent's Parish Church, School, Hall and institutions. Date: Approximately 1910 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Larry Rosenthal, Chicago White Sox

Larry Rosenthal, Chicago White Sox

Saint Vincent's teams, especially in baseball and basketball, had an illustrious history and produced many star baseball players including Saint Paul Saints and Chicago White Sox star Larry Rosenthal. Date: 1939 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Mike Gibbons

Mike Gibbons

Saint Vincent's teams had an illustrious history and produced many star sports players including internationally known boxers Mike and Tommy Gibbons. Date: June, 1923 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Thomas Gibbons in boxing ring with Delaney

Thomas Gibbons in boxing ring with Delaney

Saint Vincent's teams had an illustrious history and produced many star sports players including internationally known boxers Mike and Tommy Gibbons. Date: June, 1923 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint Vincent de Paul

Date: July, 2013 Photo by: Kimmy Tanaka View File Details Page

Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint Vincent de Paul

Date: July, 2013 Photo by: Kimmy Tanaka View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Jane McClure, “Saint Vincent de Paul,” Saint Paul Historical, accessed May 26, 2017, http://saintpaulhistorical.com/items/show/168.

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