Catholic church, sold, now to be a mosque

Some of you may have seen what recently transpired in my native place. A Catholic Church, where a friend of mine had been pastor, was closed and then sold to Muslims. It will soon be a mosque. HERE and HERE

This is seriously galling.

Former St. John's Church - Cross removed

St. John’s church finds new owner

Will be an Islamic faith center

The altars are gone, and the cross has been pulled off the top of the building.

It’s official — St. John’s Catholic Church has been decommissioned by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and sold off by St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church, which owned the buildings.

The sale to the new owners, the Darul-Uloom Islamic Center, closed on Friday, June 20. The sale included the church building, the empty school, and the attached rectory, which was used as rental housing. [What a grand place that rectory was.]

The St. Pascal Baylon parish took over care of St. John’s as part of a directive from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis — with the merger, St. John’s was effectively closed.

The Roman Catholic church held its last Mass on Sunday, June 30, 2013 and was vacant for a year until it was purchased.

The sale will help relieve St. Pascal Baylon of its outstanding $900,000 debt to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, according to the Rev. Mike Byron, the St. Pascal Baylon priest.

Though the church, rectory and school were listed for $927,000, the Archdiocese did not reveal the amount they sold for.


Decommissioning process [I think the word is “desecration”.]

A few weeks ago, former St. John’s Catholic Church parishioner Greg Cosimini passed by the old vacant church, and noticed a large lift in the parking lot.

Cosimini looked over and saw that the giant cross from the top of the building had been placed in a large dumpster. Cosimini said workers had tried to save the cross, but it was broken while being removed.


Byron said that though St. Pascal Baylon didn’t have any specific hopes of what the new use of the building might be, the outcome “an opportunity to welcome a new faith community into the East Side.”

He said that the St. Pascal’s parish would look to ways to cooperate on “some ventures of mutual interest.”

“It’s good that it’s going to continue to be used as a sacred space,” he added.

“We’re happy with the transaction, and I hope the buyers will be happy with it, too,” Byron said.


I want to remind you all of something important.

Our Lord promised that Hell would not prevail against the Church.  He did not promise that Hell wouldn’t prevail in these USA, or where you live.

Don’t assume that any of the structures of the Church are safe and will just automatically always be there for you without you having to lift your pinky finger to do your part.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace, You must be joking! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Long-Skirts says:


    …brick by brick


    The bells –
    They stopped years ago
    At the Consecration
    Of many a Mass

    Where kneeling down
    Their Savior adore
    The people said “…that
    We’ll pass.”

    And now at six
    The happy-hour
    When the Angelus
    Used to chime

    There are no bells
    To remind the people
    Pray your souls
    To prime.

    And in the night clubs
    Dancing till dawn
    The people sin
    No regret…

    And now at six
    The “mourning” hour
    Bells die with each passing

  2. yatzer says:

    I remember with sadness seeing Hagia Sophia and other mosques in Turkey that were identified as being converted churches from pre-Islamic times. This is the territory covered by St. Paul and now destroyed as far as the Faith is concerned. People need to wake up.

  3. wmeyer says:

    Our Lord promised that Hell would not prevail against the Church. He did not promise that Hell wouldn’t prevail in these USA, or where you live.

    Amen, Father. I have been saying that for a few years now, to anyone I talk to about the sad state of our society today. (I won’t call it a culture any longer.)

  4. JustaSinner says:

    No peace with the Mohammedans until Sancta Sophia is reconsecrated a Cathedral. Then we can start on Asia Minor re: Syria and Turkey.
    Would a new Crusade be the eighth ( continuation of the Middle Ages) or the First?

  5. kelleyb says:


  6. Johnno says:

    “Our Lord promised that Hell would not prevail against the Church. He did not promise that Hell wouldn’t prevail in these USA, or where you live.”

    It’s highly relevant to also mention that ol’Scratch can also prevail over in Rome too. Paul VI didn’t worry for nothing. Smoking him out there is also a solution for bringing restoration to every other part of the globe. Not that the Church needs necessarily be centered on Rome, but if what the Popes and Saints saw comes to pass, then moving house just might be an inevitability.

  7. CradleRevert says:

    On a lighter note, at least the altar rail was first rescued from this church and will be installed in the FSSP parish in Minneapolis (which just celebrated their 1-year anniversary in Minneapolis yesterday).

  8. coeyannie says:

    All Saints Church (FSSP) in northeast Minneapolis is going to get the communion rail from St. John’s. At least something will be saved. I am through giving money to the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. This was the last straw. If you get a chance, take a gander at St. Pascal Baylon Church. It is fairly ugly.

  9. ASPM Sem says:


    Please don’t stop giving money to the Archdiocese because of this (though I am guessing you mean giving to the Catholic Services Appeal as I don’t know of any other way to really donate to the Archdiocese as the parishes are the ones donating a percentage). It will only hurt those who benefit from the Archdiocese, such as retired priests, the homeless, seminarians in formation etc.

    This is incredibly sad though, I agree. Why couldn’t they have kept the old, beautiful building and sold the new, “modern”, “Spirit of Vatican II” one?

  10. ASPM Sem says:

    Also, at least most of the altars, pews, communion rail, etc are being donated to parishes. I hope the stained glass windows can be saved as well.

  11. James Joseph says:

    Well, Minnesota is a Islamic state.

  12. Gerard Plourde says:

    Here in Philadelphia we have gone through several waves of parish consolidations beginning in 1993 under Cardinal Bevilacqua when a large number of inner city parishes were closed. Demographic changes and factors (like having two parishes within blocks of each other in the case of ethnic parishes) sometimes make closure inevitable. Here the archdiocese strips the building of ecclesiastical furnishings and of the stained glass (unless it’s unsalvageable – broken, missing lead, etc.). These items are then stored by the archdiocese and recycled into new churches, just like Minneapolis has done with the altar rail going to All Saints.

  13. boko fittleworth says:

    The reason there are so many mohammedans in Minnesota is because Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services are bringing them over and settling them there. Our collection money is buying the rope they are using to hang us.

  14. iPadre says:

    I do not like the idea of using a former Catholic Church for anything other than what it was built for. That means even even other Christian denominations. I would prefer they are leveled, or burned to the ground. How can we allow a temple that was use to worship the Lord “in spirit and truth” for anything other than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Either we believe we offer the True Sacrifice or we don’t!

  15. APX says:

    “It’s good that it’s going to continue to be used as a sacred space,” he added.
    a Mosque is NOT “sacred” space.

    Why couldn’t they have kept the old, beautiful building and sold the new, “modern”, “Spirit of Vatican II” one?
    The Muslims don’t want our ugly Vatican II churches. Can’t say that I blame them.

    Rather than get worked up over these things, we should just start preparing ourselves for martyrdom.

  16. Ben Kenobi says:

    Longskirts, I love your metre. With your permission I did some revisions.

    The bells –
    They stopped up years ago
    At Consecration Mass

    Where kneeling down
    Their Savior strode
    The people said “We’ll pass.”

    And now at six
    The happy-hour
    Angelus used to chime

    There are no bells
    To call the souls
    And bring them in on time.

    And in the night
    clubs dance till dawn
    The people’s sins regret

    And now at six
    The “mourning” hour
    Massaged the minaret.

    May I use this elsewhere and credit you? Thank you.

  17. jhayes says:

    A Catholic Church doesn’t go directly from being a Church to something else. Before it can be sold, it it must be “relegated to a profane but not sordid use”

    Can. 1222 §1. If a church cannot be used in any way for divine worship and there is no possibility of repairing it, the diocesan bishop can relegate it to profane but not sordid use.

    §2. Where other grave causes suggest that a church no longer be used for divine worship, the diocesan bishop, after having heard the presbyteral council, can relegate it to profane but not sordid use, with the consent of those who legitimately claim rights for themselves in the church and provided that the good of souls sufers no detriment thereby.

  18. Charles E Flynn says:

    A good argument for the construction of cruciform churches.

  19. coeyannie says:

    ASPM Sem – I give individual donations to worthy causes. I give to the Franciscan Brothers of Peace, the St. Paul Seminary, etc. At least I know my money gets where it is needed. I am dead serious about not giving any money to the Archdiocese. There are too many liturgical abuses, clergy who are loose canons and insult the Archbishop every chance they get and nothing is done. But, if a priest tells the truth, he gets the ax for all time. Don’t get me started.

  20. Giuseppe says:

    Is there a connection with this sale and helping to cover the $11 million paid by the Archdiocese in the past dozen years for sexual abuse settlements? Did they sell souls to pay for criminal priests?

  21. ASPM Sem says:

    Giuseppe I’m offended you would say such a thing.

  22. MattH says:

    The “receiving parish” was responsible for putting Saint John’s old building on the market, and their pastor’s letter was quite direct about it: “This transaction will be of significant benefit for our St. Pascal’s community. It will remove that property from our oversight, which has been a significant matter of time and expense during the past year. It will also have a large positive impact on our financial condition. Over the course of the next few years we will be able to eliminate our accumulated debt owed to the Archdiocese, which is presently in excess of
    $900,000. We will still have our very large bank debt to be concerned with, but we are
    doing very well in keeping current with that payment schedule and reducing the loan
    So, no, the sale was not made to cover the Archdiocese’s legal or other expenses.

  23. Jason Keener says:

    Whether politically correct or not, I think it is a grave evil to sell a consecrated Catholic building to be used for religious services that contain so many grave errors contrary to the true Catholic Religion. I agree that it would have been better for the church building to have been demolished than handed over to Muslims as a place for them to practice and propagate their serious errors.

  24. This reminds me of the Baltimore Catechism phrase in the Chapter for Confirmation (Lesson 25, p.159) that warns:

    “A Catholic who never tries to work for the conversion of non-Catholics or to bring bad Catholics back to the sacraments is a soldier who lets the enemy win without putting up a fight.”

    Who is at the helm that would sell a Roman Catholic Church, bought and paid for by the Blood of Christ, to Moslems who have desecrated Catholic temples and are currently steamrolling over Catholics in Africa and the Middle East? Somebody needs to be held accountable. If monies are needed, STOP building unnecessary wasteful new modern looking megachurches in competition with protestants – which by the way only seat 1/8 of the capacity thanks to decimated ranks of Catholic churchgoers. Somebody in leadership is either running a fever or are squandering their confirmational oaths sworn to uphold our Faith against its enemies. They have literally let the enemy into the gates and have given them quarter.

    This makes me sick.

  25. LeslieL says:

    Believe me, I feel your pain……
    I attended the Academy of St. Joseph in Brentwood NY from 1st grade until 12th….it was a school with an excellent academic record run by the Sisters of St. Joseph. There was ,in addition, a novitiate there…and convent….the most breathtaking chapel, a cemetery for the nuns, as well as a nursing home for aging religious and priests on the campus, where as students, we had to volunteer – and we loved it. It was a wonderful school with much to offer.
    Founded in 1856, as of 2011 it has been rented BY the Sisters of St. Joseph (who still own the property and buildings) to …… *drum roll* a Muslim school.
    Yup – the Academy closed. The alumni were distressed and incensed – we were never informed that there was a whisper of this about to happen. The Sisters cited declining enrollment and poor fundraising – but never informed the alumni who could perhaps – perhaps – have stemmed the tide.
    Now, of course, the Sisters claim this is the best thing since sliced bread, and have rented it for allegedly five years.
    The Sisters told us that it is a “positive message for our world that, in a sense, tends to kind of divide groups.” Uh-huh. Apparently at this point, the Muslims only rent a couple of floors of the school, but……
    It is comforting to know that the Muslims claim they “decided to leave statues of Mary, Joseph and Jesus in some of the school’s hallways as a way to honor its past and expose the students to Catholicism” – at least, according to what we were told. The head of the Muslim school said “I tell the parents we want them [students] to be raised with broad-mindedness.”
    Scary times, I’m afraid.

  26. jflare says:

    Are we SURE that we aren’t at war with Islam??

    ASPM Sem, I’m guessing that if one wished, one could determine the various needs within the Archdiocese that required aid. I think it sad that we faithful would feel compelled to sake such an approach. Even so, I find that I am in much the same situation. If I give money or time, I most likely will choose to give it to my parish or to those activities within my local Archdiocese where I’m best able to monitor how funds will be used.
    Given the annual appeal I received not long ago from my Archdiocese, I cannot say I have much more confidence than coeyannie.

  27. Liz says:

    You forgot: Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us!

    We need their intercession desperately in our world right now! Actually, I need to remember to add them to our daily prayers. God have mercy!

  28. MAJ Tony says:

    Sad commentary on our times, and Absit invidia hit the nail squarely upon it’s head. That said, there are a few considerations. 1. we know how this all works out in the END. 2. You can’t easily reclaim it later if you destroy it. 3. Anybody up for a “black ops” mission to clandestinely emplace Miraculous Medals upon the property? 4. We pray in front of abortion clinics. I’m not suggesting we necessarily make overt prayer vigils in front of the neighborhood mosque, ashram, hindu temple, etc. but perhaps we could at least do so in spirit, if not just in a car down the street. Time for the Pope to bring back the Leonine Prayers for the Conversion of Russia AND all non-Christians as well.

  29. St Donatus says:

    What concerns me is that the main altar, one side altar, and the confessionals remained in the Church after the sale. I have been looking at the price these items go for. There are traditional Catholic parishes popping up all over the US. I would think that they could have donated or sold these. In my own FSSP parish, our Church is a converted old Baptist church. We would have loved to have had an altar like that in St Johns. The confessionals would have been useful as well. But instead they will be demolished by the new owners. They would consider the altars evil. So now the altar that for many years had the sacrifice of our Lord, will be desecrated by the Muslims. Very very sad.

    One side note. In the Latin language, the word ‘temporal’ means both Earthly and temporary which is what we and all material things are, even if they are consecrated. We need to keep this in mind as we loose these beautiful old sacred places.

  30. SKAY says:

    Isn’t changing Christian churches into mosques one of Islam’s stated goals–along with using immigration and a large birthrate within the Muslim community inside the country they intend to make an Islamic state?

    ” Cosimini said workers had tried to save the cross, but it was broken while being removed.”

    Perhaps that says it all.

  31. Kathleen10 says:

    boko fittleworth, you are dead on with “collection money is being used to pay for the rope to hang us”, if it is as you say and Catholic Charities are using money donated to import muslims. This is absolutely insane and I would not ever give one dime if I knew that was happening. If America has any sense whatsoever we will start an effort to curb immigration of muslims from other countries. We are developing a huge population of muslims and I don’t care an iota about PC, this is not good and is a direct threat to our remnant of a culture and to non-muslims everywhere. The more muslims we have the more problems we will have. Is saying this controversial? If so, that is madness as well. Why do so many insist on calling a cobra a garter snake.
    No Catholic church should ever be sold to muslims. Burn it, knock it down, but never sell or give it to them. They see that as a victory, claiming a Christian space as theirs means something empowering to them as they supplant us, and it is not good to embolden them further. The person quoted in this article, saying he was glad it was going to be used as a “sacred space”, etc., shows the most gullible and out of touch opinion possible on this topic. Like it or not, Christians are going to have to understand where we are in this world and start to think proactively and to self-protect, or we are going to find ourselves in a serious situation in our own homeland and neighborhoods, and we are going to make life more difficult and dangerous for our children and grandchildren.
    Long-skirts, nicely done.

  32. SKAY says:

    “ISIS leader Abut Bakr Al-Husayni al-Qurashi al-Baghdadi released a statement today two days after announcing the formation of an Islamic caliphate in Syria-Iraq”

    This was at the end of the statement–

    …” This is my advice to you. If you hold to it, you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills. ”

    He is not being subtle about it.

  33. ExrevDave says:

    What a long way from the past….. 40 years ago, when the parish I grew up in had built a new building on the south side of town, they were looking to sell the old church (which, ironically, had its start in the very late 1800’s as a Universalist/Unitarian Church). The thought then was, having been a place where the Mass had been offered, it could not become the place of worship for another denomination, let alone another religion. When it was finally sold, the disappointing thing was that it became a restaurant. I don’t know where much of the liturgical furnishings went, but the high altar location became a salad bar, the sacristy was expanded and became the kitchen, etc. I don’t know which is worse — a mosque or a restaurant. Neither is a good choice and should be done. Maybe, before we keep closing parishes, rather than simply close and consolidate, why don’t we first think about the ministry needs we have, and when consolidating parishes, use other churches for other parts of our ministry. Heck, its got to be better stewardship of our resources than paying for long-term leases or building multi-million dollar office buildings.

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