Ss. Michael, Mary, Brendan

Church of St. Michael                      --                      Church of St. Mary                      --                      Church of St. Brendan
    Gaylord, MN                                                           Arlington, MN                                                          Green Isle, MN   

Area Faith Community
Church of St. Brendan
221 McGrann Avenue
P. O. Box 85
Green Isle, MN  55338

Email:         stbrendan@frontiernet.net
Office:                             507.326.1234
Fax:                                507.326.1234
Office Hours:  





          Historically, we are proud, hard-working people of the land, God’s Good Earth! Today we are a changing rural area and a changing Church. Over the years, the AFC parishes have been affected by America’s rural life changes—a major decrease in small family farms and small-town businesses—the rise in corporate farming and technological advances—fewer young people remaining in our small communities to raise their families—and people of different cultures, customs and languages settling in our towns. All of these changes will continue to affect our area and parishes in the future. 

​          Arlington is centrally located in the AFC. The following ministries are held at St. Mary’s Parish in Arlington: Confirmation, Holy Week Triduum services, and Baccalaureate Mass. We come together with combined choirs and shared ministries enriching our Catholic faith. These celebrations enrich us in sharing our talents bringing excited heights of hope and opening our hearts to sharing the love of God with others.

          We invite you to join our AFC or to worship with our family-friendly parishes as visitors whenever you are in the area.   Peace be with you on your journey of faith.

 Fr. Aaron Johanneck
Welcome . . . 
​          As pastor of the three parishes of our Area Faith Community (AFC), I welcome you to our website. I was assigned in July of 2017 as parochial administrator of St. Mary Parish, Arlington; St. Michael Parish, Gaylord; and St. Brendan Parish, Green Isle. 

          In July of 2003 the AFC was formed between St. Mary and St. Michael and in June of 2007 the AFC was expanded to include St. Brendan. We are now known as Ss. Michael, Mary, and Brendan Area Faith Comminuty.  Most of the children and youth of our AFC are students at Sibley East schools.  


Church of St. Michael
411 Court Avenue
P. O. Box 357
Gaylord, MN  55334

Email:   stmichaelchurch of@yahoo.com
Office:                      507.237.2851
Fax:                            507.237.2383
Office Hours:   T W TH     9:00-3:00
Church of St. Mary
504 Seventh Avenue NW
P. O. Box 392
Arlington, MN  55307

Email:          stmararl@frontiernet.net​
Office:                          507.964.5413
Fax:                              507.964.5425
Office Hours:          M - F    8:30-4:30
Church of St. Brendan
221 McGrann Avenue
P. O. Box 85
Green Isle, MN  55338

Email:        stbrendan@frontiernet.net
Office:                            507.326.5111
Fax:                               507.326.5209
Office Hours:          M W     8:30-11:00
A History of the Three Parishes in
Our Area Faith Community
Church of St. Mary
504 Seventh Avenue NW
Arlington, MN
Church of St. Brendan
221 McGrann Avenue
Green Isle, MN
​A small number of Catholics in the Arlington area came together in 1864 when the priest from Henderson supervised the build-ing of a little log cabin church on the hill about one mile north of Arlington. The congregation was served by “circuit-riding” priests from 1864-1886.

In 1880 a brick church was built costing $3,500. The parish of St. Mary, a mission of Henderson, was incorporated November 22, 1882. In 1894 the church was dismantled, brick by brick, and moved to Arlington where a near-by house, serving as a chapel, hall and rectory was built.

Among the many priests who ser-ved the parish, Fr. John Ellerbush was a much-beloved pastor for 36 years (1926-1962). A new religious education program for children be-gan October, 1962.

Under the direction of Fr. Arthur Guillemette, who was pastor for 30 years (1962-1992) a new, modern facility was built for $320,000 and dedicated March 27, 1966.

Following Fr. Guillemette’s retire-ment, several pastors have served our St. Mary Parish in-cluding Fr. Ken Irrgang (1992-1994); Fr. Paul Schumacher (1994-1996); Fr. James Barry (1996-2000); Fr. Jerry Paulson (2000-2011), and Fr. Keith Salisbury (2011-present). 

St. Mary parish is currently an Area Faith Community with St. Michael in Gaylord and St. Brendan in Green Isle. The church has in recent years been blessed with a greater Hispanic presence.
The first St. Brendan Church was built in 1863 in what is now known as Green Isle. A tombstone in the cemetery dated September 27, 1863, for John McGrann marks the oldest grave. The cornerstone for the present church was laid on April 30, 1882; the first Mass was celebrated in this location on December 3, 1882; the parish was incorporated June 2, 1882; and the church was dedicated June 4, 1883. The total cost was approxi-mately $25,000. Fifteen years later, an 1,800-pound bell costing $500 was placed in the tower and the old church was converted to a parish hall. Fr. John J. Hand, the second pastor, served for 25 years. A new rectory, built in December, 1892, was used until 1964 when the current rectory was erected for about $45,000.

In 1923 families were asked to purchase individual Stations of the Cross

Following a severe windstorm that toppled the church steeple on May 19, 1996, a new refurbished steeple was lifted into place on December 20, 1996.  

The parish had three native sons ordained to the priesthood: Fr. Thomas F. Dwane, 1884; Fr. Joseph Robeck, 1942; and Fr. John G. Berger, 1967.  

Today the Church of St. Brendan participates in an Area Faith Community with the neighboring Church of St. Mary in Arlington and the Church of St. Michael in Gaylord. Our current pastor, Fr Aaron Johanneck, (a native of Seaforth), resides in Gaylord.
Believing that the railroad would go through the village of Mountville, Irish and German pioneers settled there in the early 1860’s, forming a mission served by itinerant priests. A small church was built about 1872, and a cemetery was established. When the railroad took a different route, many settlers moved to Gaylord, and Mountville was eventually abandoned.

The Catholic Church in Gaylord was built in 1880 and the parish was in- corporated on September 4, 1885. The building lacked a basement, electricity, running water and insula- tion, but with several renovations over the years, it served the parish until 1958.  

When the County Seat was moved from Henderson to Gaylord in 1915, the parish gained new members and was served as a mission of Gibbon from 1915 to 1942.

A large house that needed extensive remodeling was purchased in 1945 for $5,500 to serve as a rectory and meeting place. The Ladies Altar Soci-ety helped raise funds for improve-ments done mostly by volunteers.  

After 1955, during Fr. Louis J. Heitzer’s pastorate, the lots on which the current church stands were purchased and building plans for a new church costing $85,000 and seating 250 were finalized by Fr. Francis Hayden. The move to the new church took place on Sunday, January 19, 1958.

St. Michaels has formed an Area Faith Community with the parish communities of St. Mary in Arlington and St. Brendan in Green Isle.  

With a Hispanic presence in the parish, new ministries have been formed to welcome them into the community and parish life. With the help of the School Sisters of Notre Dame from Mankato, Sisters Agatha and Marie Grossman, CSJ, during their 10 years of “retired ministry” in Gaylord will continue and expand into surrounding communities.
Church of St. Michael
411 Court Avenue
Gaylord, MN