Pray the Rosary

Fr. Mark Bozada - Pastor

Parish Office (636) 451-4685
FAX (636) 742-4820
Tues-Thurs. (9am - 3pm)
Closed Monday & Fridays

St. Mary of Perpetual Help

1587 Hwy AM 
Villa Ridge, MO.63089
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St. James
1107 Summit Dr.
Catawissa, MO 63015 
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St. Mary's Mass/Confession Times
Confessions: 4:15 - 4:45pm 
2nd, 4th Saturdays of the Month.
Saturday Mass: 5:00pm -
2nd, 4th Saturdays of the Month.
Sunday Mass: 8:00am
Wednesday & Friday Mass: 8:00am

St. James Mass/Confession Times
Confessions: Saturday 4:15 - 4:45pm - 1st, 3rd & 5th Saturdays of the Month.
Saturday Mass: 5:00pm - 1st, 3rd & 5th Saturdays of the Month.
Sunday Mass: 10:00am
Tuesday & Thursday Mass: 8:00am

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St. James History

The Church of St. James in Catawissa, Missouri was dedicated on September 1st, 1913. The small wooden building with white walls and shingled roof, located in Franklin County, stands today as a  living tribute to the deep and enduring faith of the catholic faith of the catholic families of the area.

The history of the parish began with the establishment of the much older church of St. Patrick, in Armagh. Erected in 1844 as a log structure, it served the pioneers in the Meramec River area until a stone structure was completed in 1864. 

The official history of St. James Parish began with the assignment of Fr. Author  O'Reilly in 1906 as Pastor of St. Patrick. As the general population of the Catawissa grew at the turn of the century, so did the Catholic population. The Church of St. Patrick was the only church in the area, but the two miles from town to church was considered too great a difficulty, especially in rainy conditions when roads would wash out. As a result, some parishioners asked that a new church be built closer to town. Seven years later, in 1913, the church was dedicated and St. James became a Mission of St. Patrick's church. Ironically the reverse in the situation today. It was 11 years later, in 1924 that Fr. Joseph Casey was appointed Pastor of St. Patrick's and plans were initiated for constructing a Rectory at St. James. That two-story frame house still serves as a very comfortable and functional Rectory. In 1925, the Parish census showed that St. James Parish has a population of 35 families, all of German and Irish decent.

It was some 25 years later, in 1951, that St. James became a parish administered by a number of Priest from various parishes; for example, Fr. Joseph Anler would drive from St.Rose of Lima Parish each weekend to attend to St. James; in 1960, the administration of the parish was given to St.Bridget's Parish in neighboring Pacific, Missouri. In 1981 Fr. Walter Boul was appointed as Pastor, and upon his retirement in 1988 Fr. Donald Murphy was assigned to the Parish until his death in 1994. Fr. Richard Coerver was assigned pastor of St. James in June of 2002 with Associate Pastor Fr. Martin Mannion. Fr. Coerver with Fr. Mannion assumed the duties of St. Bridget of Kildare, St. James and St. Mary's Catholic Church Communities.

In 2003, Father Richard Coerver was reassigned to St. Gertrude's in Krakow and Father Mark S. Bozada was assigned to St. James along with St. Mary's. St. Bridget of Kildare was assigned to have their own priest.

In 2012, Father Mark Bozada was also assigned St. Bridget of Kildare in Pacific along with St. James and St. Mary's.
Joining Father Mark was Father Rodger Fleming as Associate Pastor and Deacon Dr. Michael Suden.

In 2013, Father Mark Bozada was reassigned to only St. Mary's and St. James. Fr. Fleming was transfer to St. James in Potosi, Mo. and Deacon Mike was given St. Bridget's only with there new pastor Fr. James Holbrooks. In the fall of 2013, Deacon Carl Germain was assigned to St. James and St. Mary's.

A more detailed study of the history of the Parish would reveal the dedication and determination of the people of St. James Parish over these 75 years. As a Parish Family, they have suffered on many occasions from local crop failures to a world-wide depression. For one half of its existence, St. James has not had a resident Pastor; and yet, the constant desire for a Catholic Church in Catawissa has kept the people coming and working for its success. Today, there are more than 115 families registered as parishioners, while children from the parish attend Catholic Schools in Pacific and Washington. 

With great pride, St. James' parishioners view the past, including the Ordination of the Priesthood of two parishioners. Fr. Hilbert Schmelz in 1960 and Fr. Thomas Molini in 1985; Fr. Schmelz died in 1983 and is buried in the parish Cemetery; Fr. Molini serves at a Parish in St. Louis.

A Detailed history of St.James


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