Brief History

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church can trace its roots to 1883, first in a local home and then in 1884 in a small mission chapel called St. Charles in what is now Arden Hills. This mission parish grew and in the early 1900’s there was a need for a new church to serve the expanding and predominately Polish community. After some convincing by potential parishioners, Archbishop John Ireland approved a new parish, St. John the Baptist, in 1902 along with the first pastor, Polish-speaking, Reverend Anthony Szszukowski. He was born in Poland and ordained in 1902 at the St. Paul Seminary. The first rectory was built on Fourth Avenue in 1903, now the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home. He oversaw the building of the basement church on Fifth Avenue in 1907.