Winona County Polish Catholic Churches/Cemeteries

Winona Churches

There are currently five Catholic Churches in the City of Winona:

  • St. Stanislaus Kostka
  • St. Casimir
  • Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
  • St. John Nepomoncene
  • St. Mary’s

St. Stanislaus and St. Casimir were predominantly Polish churches.
Two earlier churches also had some Polish members – St. Thomas and St. Joseph – both no longer exist.

St. Thomas Church

St. Thomas Church was the first Catholic church in Winona, built in 1857. This Church was known as the Irish church, but also accommodated Catholics of all nationalities in Winona, including those who spoke German, Polish and Bohemian.

St. Joseph Church

St. Joseph Church was built in 1862 as a German language parish to accommodate not only the Germans, but also the Polish and Bohemians, many of whom could speak fluent German. Some of the Polish people were willing to remain with St. Joseph’s Parish, but the majority chose to switch to the Polish Church that was later built. 

St. Thomas and St. Joseph parishes merged in the 1950s to become the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

St. Stanislaus Koska Church
(established in 1872)

625 East 4th St.
Winona, MN 55987

  • Polish Church built in the east end of the city
  • Named after St. Stanislaus Kostka, a Polish Jesuit
  • Parishioners were mainly Kashubian
  • Initially was a wooden framed church
  • In 1878, the parish opened a parochial school with 230 students
  • The present church was completed in 1895

Church Records

All St. Stanislaus Church records are held by the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum in Winona.

Baptism records are available from 1873 to 23 August 1912.
Marriage records are available from 1873 to 8 April 1918.
Death records are available from 1875 to 21 March 1970.

Church Book/Booklet

Diamond Jubilee Memoirs: 1873 to 1948, Saint Stanislaus Kostka Parish 
Available in the Polish section of the Hoffman Research Library at the Minnesota Genealogy Center.

St. Casimir Church
(established in 1905)

626 West Broadway
Winona, MN 55987

  • Polish church and school built in the west end of the city
  • Parishioners came mainly from the Kashubian region of Poland
  • Was built as a daughter church of St. Stanislaus
  • Now is managed by the Cathedral of Sacred Heart

Church Records

According to the church secretary, the church is not allowed to photocopy or reproduce church records and only approved staff/volunteers are allowed to view the records. The church staff is willing to search records and provide a report of the records for a fee of $10/hour. 

St. Casimir Church Book/Booklet

Diamond Jubilee History of the St. Casimir Society – May 29, 1921
Available in the Polish section of the Hoffman Research Library in the Minnesota Genealogy Center:

Other Catholic Churches in Winona

St. John Nepomucene Church
(established in 1880)

560 East Broadway
Winona, MN 55987

  • Established as a Bohemian National parish
  • In recent years, merged with St. Stanislaus Church
  • The two churches are within a few blocks of each other.

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Church
(established in 1952)

360 Main St.
Winona, MN 55987

Formed to merge the St. Thomas and St. Joseph Churches, which were four blocks apart from each other.

St. Mary’s Church
(incorporated in 1912)

1303 West Broadway
Winona, MN 55987

  • Original church was built at 1169 West Broadway
  • First Winona parish that did not have a primary ethnic constituency
  • Current church was built in 1939

Winona Cemeteries

There are two large cemeteries in the city of Winona and a number of smaller cemeteries in surrounding rural communities. The two large ones are described below:

St. Mary’s Cemetery

1333 Homer Road
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 452-2769

St Mary’s is the Catholic cemetery where the Polish Catholic residents are buried.

Woodlawn Cemetery

506 West Lake Blvd
Winona, MN, 55987
(507) 452-6016

Woodlawn Cemetery is a public cemetery established in 1862 on 224 acres of land and over 21,000 people are buried there.

The cemetery has a section called Potter’s Field where indigent persons have been buried – most of those graves are unmarked.

Other Winona County Cemeteries

There are a number of small cemeteries in rural areas of Winona County. The two links below provide extensive listings of them.

Polish Catholic Church in Pine Creek, Wisconsin
(Across the River from Winona)

Sacred Heart – St. Wenceslaus Church

Sacred Heart-St. Wenceslaus Church, founded in 1866, is located in Pine Creek, across the Mississippi River from Winona, Minnesota.

Many Kashubian surnames from church records are the same names that are found in Winona, as the families moved between the city of Winona and the farmland of Pine Creek.

Baptism, marriage, and funeral records are kept in the church office and are also digitized at the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum in Winona (Baptisms to 15 December 1935, marriages to November 1874, deaths to 20 February 1929).

Sacred Heart Cemetery

Located on the hill behind the church in Pine Creek, Wisconsin.