Diocese of Winona-Rochester

Created in the late 19th Century, there are 20 counties included in the Diocese. Click on any of the counties with links to learn more about the Historic Polish Churches and Cemeteries in that county.

  • Blue Earth
  • Cottonwood
  • Dodge
  • Faribault
  • Fillmore
  • Freeborn
  • Houston
  • Jackson
  • Martin
  • Mower
  • Murray
  • Nobles
  • Olmsted
  • Pipeston
  • Rock
  • Steele
  • Wabasha
  • Waseca
  • Watonwan
  • Winona

Historical Facts about the Diocese

  • Father Joseph B. Cotter was the first Bishop of the Winona Diocese in 1889 
  • Today, there are 107 parishes/missions and over 130,000 people who identify as Catholics in the Diocese
  • There are 23 Catholic schools and St. Mary’s University serves as a Catholic university for men and women (located in the city of Winona)
  • The Diocese covers 13,000 square miles of the southern 20 counties of Minnesota
  • The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona was built in 1952 and is the home parish of the bishop in the Diocese
  • On June 24, 2018, the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester was elevated to the level of co-cathedral. At that time, the diocese underwent a change in name from the Diocese of Winona to the Diocese of Winona-Rochester

Historically Polish Churches in the Winona-Rochester Diocese
(some no longer exist)

ChurchLocationYear Founded
St. Stanislaus KostkaWinona, Winona County
St. CasimirWinona, Winona County
St. CasimirWells, Faribault County
St. John the BaptistMinnesota Lake, Faribault County
St. Mary’sEaston, Faribault County
Holy FamilyEast Chain, Martin County
St. John VianneyFairmont, Martin County
St. Hyacinth (now St. Joseph)Owatonna, Steele County

Additional Resources

Gathering a People: A History of the Diocese of Winona
by William L. Crozier, 1989
This book is available at the Hoffman Research Library at the Minnesota Genealogical Society.