St. Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls, St. Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA

The story begins when Catholic missionary priests journeyed into what would become the Dakota Territory. The first of these was Father Pierre Jean De Smet, who began ministering in the region in 1838.

Self-guided tours can be taken from 9-11:30 AM and 1-5 PM. Guided tours can be taken from 1-5 PM with one week’s notice/confirmation. Please call (605) 336-7392 to request a tour.

From those beginnings, the Catholic faith spread among the Native Americans and early settlers of the Plains. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, a small log structure built in Bruyer’s Settlement four miles east of Vermillion, is generally recognized as the first Catholic Church established in what would become the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

In March of 1861, legislation was signed creating the Dakota Territory. The Homestead Act, signed a few days later, began to attract settlers to the area. In time, Yankton became the territorial capital. And it was Yankton that Bishop Martin Marty, designated vicar apostolic of the Dakota Territories in August 1879, chose as his Episcopal home.

Sacred Heart Parish in Yankton became the Bishop’s first Pro-Cathedral Church. In 1883, however, the territorial capital had been moved to Bismarck, ND and by 1889 Sioux Falls had grown dramatically. In February of that year, Bishop Marty relocated to Sioux Falls.

The first parish in Sioux Falls was St. Michael’s. The wood structure that was the original parish home burned in 1881. The church rebuilt, and dedicated a more substantial brick structure located on the corner of 5th and Duluth in 1883. This became Bishop Marty’s new Pro-Cathedral Church when he came in 1889. In September Pope Leo XIII established the Diocese of Sioux Falls encompassing all of SD, in November of the same year, South Dakota officially became the 40th state.

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