906-265-4557
Phone: 906-265-4557 | Email: stagnesstcecilia@gmail.com St. Agnes, St. Cecilia, & Immaculate Conception Churches Website by North Country Website Design.

St. Agnes

New families and individuals are welcome to St. Agnes in Iron River. It is important that every family or independent adult register in the Parish of their choice to keep our records, especially addresses and telephone numbers, current. Please contact the Parish Office to register as soon as you are able. Thank you and Welcome! St. Agnes Church is located at 702 North Fourth Avenue in Iron River, just two blocks north of the stoplight on US-2. The Rectory Office for all three parishes is located next to the church on the north side. Pastor Fr. Jose Cherian

History

This brief history of St. Agnes Parish is a compilation of excerpts from the Centennial Celebration booklet, the book A Walk Through The History of the Diocese of Marquette, and our own memories. It began with the discovery and mining of iron ore and the subsequent settlement of the area. 1883, Father Anatole Pelisson was given charge of the area with neither church or rectory. He resided in the homes of parishioners and said Mass in school buildings. In 1885, the first church was built to provide for the young and growing community. He was the first in a succession of priests to serve the spiritual needs of the Catholic communities. On September 1, 1898, Rev. James Lenhardt began his long pastorate and continued until his untimely death in 1934, murdered by a mentally unbalanced man outside of the rectory. In 1900, St. Agnes Parish, the mother church of the entire west side of Iron county, totaled 125 families and served the villages and settlements of Iron River, Stambaugh, Saunders, Pentoga, Watersmeet, Atkinson Interior, and later Caspian and Gaastra. St. Agnes Parish continued to grow in membership and prosperity under Father Lenhart's leadership. In the midst of the Great Depression, the parish was in debt, church and rectory were in need of repair, and the parish in a state of decline. During that time Fr. George Dingfelder began the ardous task of restoring the well-being of St. Agnes . His partorate co-insided with the Second World War and the parish began to be re-established, physically and spiritually. After the fire, in 1954, which destroyed the first St. Agnes Church, a new church was built and dedicated in 1956. St Agnes School opened its doors in September, 1948 to over 100 children, the Convent completed in 1961 and a new Rectory in 1965. A widespread closing of the local iron mines in the 60's and a subsequent decline in the economy of the area, together with the marked reduction of priests, had unfortunate affects and in 1970, St. Agnes School had to close its doors. With the closing of Assumption Church, Blessed Sacrament in Stambaugh, and St. Mary's in Gaastra; there remains only St. Agnes in Iron River and St. Cecilia's in Caspian. Father Norman Clisch was named Pastor of both churches. Many repairs and improvements were made during the pastorate of Father Norman Clisch from 2000 to 2011 until his retirement. The improvements have continued with the installation of Father Gregory Veneklase who was named as Pastor/Administrator of St. Agnes and St. Cecilia on July 1, 2011. In addition, he was then given charge of the Sister Parish of Immaculate Conception in Watersmeet on July 1, 2019.
Iron River, Caspian, and Watersmeet, Michigan
Subscribe: Stay up to date with the latest news.
906-265-4557 | stagnesstcecilia@gmail.com St. Agnes, St. Cecilia, & Immaculate Conception Churches Website by North Country Website Design.

St. Agnes

New families and individuals are welcome to St. Agnes in Iron River. It is important that every family or independent adult register in the Parish of their choice to keep our records, especially addresses and telephone numbers, current. Please contact the Parish Office to register as soon as you are able. Thank you and Welcome! St. Agnes Church is located at 702 North Fourth Avenue in Iron River, just two blocks north of the stoplight on US-2. The Rectory Office for all three parishes is located next to the church on the north side. Pastor Fr. Jose Cherian

History

This brief history of St. Agnes Parish is a compilation of excerpts from the Centennial Celebration booklet, the book A Walk Through The History of the Diocese of Marquette, and our own memories. It began with the discovery and mining of iron ore and the subsequent settlement of the area. 1883, Father Anatole Pelisson was given charge of the area with neither church or rectory. He resided in the homes of parishioners and said Mass in school buildings. In 1885, the first church was built to provide for the young and growing community. He was the first in a succession of priests to serve the spiritual needs of the Catholic communities. On September 1, 1898, Rev. James Lenhardt began his long pastorate and continued until his untimely death in 1934, murdered by a mentally unbalanced man outside of the rectory. In 1900, St. Agnes Parish, the mother church of the entire west side of Iron county, totaled 125 families and served the villages and settlements of Iron River, Stambaugh, Saunders, Pentoga, Watersmeet, Atkinson Interior, and later Caspian and Gaastra. St. Agnes Parish continued to grow in membership and prosperity under Father Lenhart's leadership. In the midst of the Great Depression, the parish was in debt, church and rectory were in need of repair, and the parish in a state of decline. During that time Fr. George Dingfelder began the ardous task of restoring the well- being of St. Agnes . His partorate co-insided with the Second World War and the parish began to be re- established, physically and spiritually. After the fire, in 1954, which destroyed the first St. Agnes Church, a new church was built and dedicated in 1956. St Agnes School opened its doors in September, 1948 to over 100 children, the Convent completed in 1961 and a new Rectory in 1965. A widespread closing of the local iron mines in the 60's and a subsequent decline in the economy of the area, together with the marked reduction of priests, had unfortunate affects and in 1970, St. Agnes School had to close its doors. With the closing of Assumption Church, Blessed Sacrament in Stambaugh, and St. Mary's in Gaastra; there remains only St. Agnes in Iron River and St. Cecilia's in Caspian. Father Norman Clisch was named Pastor of both churches. Many repairs and improvements were made during the pastorate of Father Norman Clisch from 2000 to 2011 until his retirement. The improvements have continued with the installation of Father Gregory Veneklase who was named as Pastor/Administrator of St. Agnes and St. Cecilia on July 1, 2011. In addition, he was then given charge of the Sister Parish of Immaculate Conception in Watersmeet on July 1, 2019.
Iron River, Caspian, & Watersmeet, MI
Subscribe: Stay up to date with the latest news.