Our History

The Church of Saints Peter & Paul was established in 1898 in New Hradec, North Dakota, to serve ethnic Bohemian families. Scattered throughout a 50-mile area, the journey and growing burden of traveling rough roads to attend Mass was becoming all too apparent, especially for those families living much closer to Dickinson. Wanting a parish nearer to where they lived, approximately 45 families banded together in 1908 to purchase property in Dickinson to build a church. Although facing opposition from local clergy in New Hradec and Dickinson, Bishop Shanley of the Fargo Diocese gave permission for the establishment of a new parish in 1909. Incorporated by the State of North Dakota on August 09, 1912, St. Wenceslaus Church was dedicated and blessed by His Excellency, Most Reverend Vincent J. Wehrle, O.S.B., first Bishop of Bismarck, on the Feast of St. John Nepomucene, May 16, 1913. At the Dedication Mass, the Bishop preached his sermon in English with a Bohemian translation provided by Fr. Alphonse Henn, O.S.B. 

The original church was constructed by the Walton and Davis Lumber Company, Dickinson, at a cost of $2,302.50. Rectory construction began and was completed in 1925 at a cost of $1,300. Ground was broken for a new school on the Feast of St. Wenceslaus, September 28, 1950. The school was completed in October 1951. The current church structure was 

completed in 1956 by the Olheiser Construction Company in Dickinson at a cost of $250,270. Bishop Lambert A. Hoch, D.D., dedicated the new church on November 12, 1956. In 1961, a general contract was awarded for the construction of a new rectory and convent. The convent was designed primarily as a home to accommodate twelve religious sisters of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who were staffing the parish and grade school. The completed and furnished cost of these two parish buildings was under $125,000. Today, what used to be the convent is now the Parish Office Complex, home to the parish staff offices and meeting rooms. During the 1990’s, an elevator was installed in the church to provide greater access and convenience to the building. In the year 2000, the completion of a successful parish debt reduction campaign permitted the mortgage to the church to be paid off/burned. 

In July of 2004, St. Wenceslaus Catholic School united with the other parochial Catholic schools in Dickinson to form one school system, Dickinson Catholic Schools. St. Wenceslaus School was renamed Trinity Elementary East and joined Trinity Elementary West (located at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church) and Trinity High School to serve the community of Dickinson and the surrounding areas. Plans were enacted in 2014 to build a unified campus on the Trinity High School location. 

August 2012 marked 100 years of St. Wenceslaus Parish and in celebration of our Centennial, plans were formulated and a $3 million renovation plan and Centennial Renewal Capital Campaign were unveiled featuring a new interior which you see today. Completed in 2015, the Centennial Renewal Campaign Renovation will serve the Greater Glory of God for years and generations to come.

First Class Relic Placements

Main Altar
Saint Wenceslaus

Altar of Repose
Saint Albert the Great O.P.

Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint John Marie Vianney

Shrine of Saint Joseph
Saint Pope Pius X
Given name: Giuseppe (Joseph) M. Sarto

“By inviting us to venerate the mortal remains of the martyrs and saints, the Church does not forget that, in the end, these are indeed just human bones, but they are bones that  belonged to individuals touched by the transcendent power of God. The relics of the saints are traces of that invisible but real presence which sheds light upon the shadows of the world and reveals the Kingdom of Heaven in our midst. They cry out with us and for us ‘Maranatha!’ — ‘Come Lord Jesus!’” POPE BENEDICT XVI, ADDRESS TO YOUNG PEOPLE AT COLOGNE, 2005