Brief History of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church, Biwabik, MN
The Catholic people of Merritt (later called Biwabik) were first served by missionary priest Joseph Buh.
Fr. Joseph Francis Buh was born March 17, 1833 in Austria. He sailed to the United States in 1865 and he was ordained a catholic priest
on January 25, 1865.
St. John's Church was established in 1893 and a church was built by 16 founding families. A bell (still in use today) was cast for the church in 1900 and placed in the steeple. The church burned on March 31, 1923 and a "basement" church was ready for Christmas that same year. The current structure was built on top of this basement and dedicated on June 10, 1956. A bell tower was built and two more bells were added to the bell tower in 1962.
Jonathan (Ronald) Licari was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. Herb Riley was ordained a permanent deacon in 1981. Peter (Michael) Richards grew up in Biwabik and was ordained in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis on May 3O, 1998.
In February-September 2015 we, merged with Holy Rosary, Aurora and Queen of Peace, Hoyt Lakes to form Our Lady of Hope Parish. We are all members of the same parish, with one set of trustees, one Finance Council and one Pastoral Council.
Pastors (*and associate) who have served Saint John the Baptist Church:
|Joseph F. Buh||1893-96||T. Gregory Manning||1953-57|
|Matthew Bilban||1896-1906||Frank Melovasich||1957-63|
|Francis Saloven||1906-13||Leo J. Hannon||1963-69|
|Joseph Pollak||1913||Raymond Cossette||1969-75|
|Patrick J. Lydon||1913-14||Patrick Carey||1975-77|
|Aloysius L. Pirnat||1914||John Sustarsic||1977|
|Richard O'Gorman||1914-17||James Hayden||1977-89|
|John Begley||1917-18||Fredrick Method||1989-93|
|Anton Leskovic||1918||Brian Schultz||1993-95|
|A. L. Dufrensne||1918-19||Frank Perkovich||1995-04|
|Joseph Quillian||1919||David Forsman||2004-07|
|John Jerse||1919-30||Joseph Mulangattil*||2005-06|
|Timothy Culligan||1930-31||Bill Skarich||2007-08|
|Thaddeus McCarhty||1931-34||Rick Banker||2008-09|
|Patrick S. Flynn||1934-46||Keith Bertram||2009|
|Andrew Crawford||1946-47||Steven Daigle||2010-16|
|Edmund Mockler||1947-49||Perter S. Lambert||2016-|
|Francis G. Schweiger||1952-53|