Parish History

St. Paul the Apostle

St. Paul’s Church was the first Catholic Church in Burlington, founded in 1839 by the Rev. Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli.  Early in the year 1840, the architect-builder-priest built the first St. Paul’s Church. The original building occupied what is now the sanctuary and sacristies of the present building.The second church building was built in the English Gothic Style in 1863. The original cornerstone of the third and present church building was laid on October 23, 1892 under the direction of Fr. Bernard Mackin. The current church building was dedicated on January 27, 1895.In 1842, the first church bell to arrive in Burlington was received by St. Paul’s.  This bell still rings today with the same tones that were heard by our ancestors.A total of 21 priests have served as pastor of St. Paul’s Church from 1839 through 1997 when St. Paul’s merged into one parish with St. John the Baptist and became our current parish, “SS John & Paul Church.”


St. John the Baptist

With the growing number of German Catholics in the community a new church building was erected on the east side of Seventh Street in 1855.  The new church was named in honor of St. John the Baptist.  In 1882 land for the present church was purchased for $10,000.00. The ground was leveled and the cornerstone was laid on October 7, 1883.  The large Gothic church with a 168 foot high steeple was blessed on September 4, 1884.St. John the Baptist was predominately German families, and in 1876 the church was assigned to the care of the Society of Jesus.  The Jesuits from Germany would ensure an ample supply of German speaking priests.  In 1890 the Society of Jesus withdrew its priests for other labors.  The Bishop of Davenport made arrangements to have the Benedictines from Atchison, Kansas take over the care of the church.  In 1990 they withdrew for other duties closer to their abbey.  Since then, St. John’s has been under the care of priests of the Diocese of Davenport.A total of 19 priests have served as pastor of St. John the Baptist from 1890 to 1997 when St. John the Baptist merged into one parish with St. Paul the Apostle and became our current parish, “SS John & Paul Church.”