|The Tri-Parishes of
St. Joseph - Lankin ~ St. John Nepomucene - Pisek ~ Sts. Peter & Paul - Bechyne
|St. Joseph Catholic Church
506 4th Ave ~ Lankin, North Dakota (Map)
In 1905, the year the town was founded, the Soo Line
constructed its branch line through Lankin. The railroad
offered two lots to the religious community which would
build the first church.
The Catholic Settlers, our Great-Grandparents and
Grandparents, took advantage of this offer and founded
St. Joseph's Parish, building the church at the north end
of town in 1906. St. Joseph's Church is one of the
youngest in Walsh County.
In 1909, local parishioners purchased five acres of land
to eventually move the church from the north side of town
to the east end. The land was also used to construct a
new parish house and cemetery. Later nine lots were
bought from Clement Zeman in addition to the four lots
the Zemans donated. From 1906-11, the parish was
served by Father Frank Just, Father Alois Gajdusek and
Father Thomas Rabsteinek.
Father Vaclav Mikolasek, who came in May 1911, helped
the parishioners finish building the rectory later that year.
Financial conditions of the church were critical at that
time. The church had been sold for taxes. Thanks to Mr.
H. Johnson, who held the mortgage, and with the help of
the county commissioners, the taxes were forgiven and
the church returned to the parish.
In 1913, Bishop O'Reilly gave permission to move the
yet-unfinished church to the east side of town. The
steeple was added at this time. A box containing the
names of the donors and other memorials was sealed
into the cross.
In 1943, with countless hours of help from the
parishioners and the inspiration of Father Mikolasek, the
Grotto of Lourdes was erected out of area field rocks in
honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a well-known fact
that Czechs are known for their love of the Blessed Virgin.
Father Mikolasek served the parish until his death in
1950. He is buried in the Bechyne cemetery. Father
Jaroslav Tomanek served from 1950-62 followed by
Father Ludwig Svetinsky from 1962-73 who served
Lankin and Bechyne.
Construction of the present-day church began in 1967
and was completed in January 1968. With the help of the
parishioners and community, who donated countless
hours of labor, the mortgage was burned in 1973.
Father John Graven served Lankin, Bechyne and Lomice
from 1973-80 and was followed by Father Dan Pilon who
served from 1980-84. In 1984, St. Joseph's was
assigned as a mission of St. John's, Pisek. Father
Leonard Loegering served Pisek and Lankin from
1984-91; Father Vern Smith served from 1991-95; Father
Luke was named interim pastor in 1995 until Father John
Fallon was appointed, serving 1996-02; and Father John
Lewandowski served from 2002-05.
Father Samuel Ezeibekwe came in 2005 and served as
pastor of our Tri-Parishes of Pisek, Lankin and Bechyne
until his death in March 2013.
Fr. Prasad Marneni has been the pastor of our
Tri-Parishes since June 2013.
|Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto