In the summer of 1990, Catholics of northwest Rochester were invited to participate in the formation of a new parish, to be called Holy Spirit. Father Dale Tupper was named its first pastor by then bishop of Winona, John Vlazny. A group of 78 families registered for the new parish at its first Mass in a rented bingo hall on September 9, 1990 at 9:00 A.M. (It became known as the “Mass of Nines.”) The atmosphere smelled of cigarettes and the setup was difficult. For four years the parish lived with that temporary setting.
During the weeks and months that followed, people stepped forward to take on many tasks, responsibilities, ministries, commissions and councils. From the beginning it was apparent that Holy Spirit Parish would bring into reality the vision of Vatican II and its understanding of the “universal call to holiness” and the “priesthood of the laity.”
In September of 1993, the parish began construction on a church building that everyone hoped would be a “light on a hilltop” for northwest Rochester. This included the Commons space and eight classrooms. The church building opened on August 14, 1994 for its first Mass and it was blessed by Bishop Vlazny on August 21, 1994. The worship area with its many windows and high ceilings, rich in light and space, is intended to continue the interactive spirit that characterized Sunday Masses from the beginning and reminds us of the Holy Spirit in our midst.
By 2003, the parish campus consisted of the church building, the parish office wing, and two school wings housing grades K–8. Membership was over 800 households and still growing. In October of that year, our founding pastor, Fr. Tupper was transferred to Austin, MN and Fr. Don Schmitz was named the new pastor of this growing parish. Fr. Don saw the parish grow to over 1050 households. In July of 2013, upon Fr. Don’s retirement, Fr. Tom Loomis was appointed third pastor of this young and thriving parish, whose average age is 28 and who looks forward to its 25th Anniversary in 2015 and to the day when its worship space will finally be finished and the bishop of the Diocese of Winona can return for the dedication of the completed worship space.